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BlackBerry sues Ryan Seacrest's iPhone-keyboard startup

updated 02:37 pm EST, Fri January 3, 2014

Typo Keyboard allegedly infringes design

BlackBerry has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Ryan Seacrest's startup Typo Products, calling foul over the company's physical-keyboard accessory for iPhones. The Waterloo-based company claims the Typo accessory infringes an existing patent related to the iconic keyboard design that has adorned most BlackBerry models throughout the past five years.

"This is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry's iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design," BlackBerry's general counsel and chief legal officer, Steve Zipperstein, said in a statement.

Typo vs. BlackBerry Q10 (not to scale)
Typo vs. BlackBerry Q10 (not to scale)


Television personality Ryan Seacrest and an investment partner are believed to have put more than $1 million into the keyboard venture, with other keyboard products said to be in development. Seacrest has lamented the need to keep two devices, including an iPhone as a primary smartphone and a second handset for "typing and correspondence," though he did not explicitly name BlackBerry as the inspiration for the Typo keyboard.

"From the beginning, BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence. We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations," Zipperstein added.

The Typo keyboard is scheduled to go on sale later this month, with pre-orders available for $99.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Stuke

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-11-05

    You have got to be kidding me. Here is someone, who wants to memorialize Blackberry via its tactile keyboard, long after Blackberry itself has any significance, and what do they do...sue him. Here, BB, another nail, go ahead and drive it too into your coffin.

    Hmmm, have you tried talking with R.Seacrest's company about a partnership? Have no warned him to not go through with it, or did you just jump at the opportunity to splash headlines by filing a law suite?

    RIP, BB.

  1. Stuke

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-11-05

    You have got to be kidding me. Here is someone, who wants to memorialize Blackberry via its tactile keyboard, long after Blackberry itself has any significance, and what do they do...sue him. Here, BB, another nail, go ahead and drive it too into your coffin.

    Hmmm, have you tried talking with R.Seacrest's company about a partnership? Have you warned him to not go through with it, or did you just jump at the opportunity to splash headlines by filing a law suite?

    RIP, BB.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Originally Posted by StukeView Post

    long after Blackberry itself has any significance, and what do they do...sue him. Here, BB, another nail, go ahead and drive it too into your coffin.
    Hmmm, have you tried talking with R.Seacrest's company about a partnership? Have you warned him to not go through with it, or did you just jump at the opportunity to splash headlines by filing a law suite?



    Oh so it is completely acceptable for Apple to sue anyone and everyone with vague and sketchy "Look and Feel" lawsuits (SameSung anyone??). But Blackberry should not enforce their design IP (for what is clearly a Blackberry keyboard) because they are no longer "significant" or "relevant". Gotcha!

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Yup. This is pretty obviously specifically targeted at Blackberry. Same appearance, including the bars between rows, almost the same key layouts... tsk. Should have talked to Blackberry first... except that then it would have cost twice as much because of royalties. (But at least it would be legal!)

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    It's painfully obvious who actually knows what the Apple-Samsung suits were about and who doesn't.

    Describing the subject matter of the litigation as "vague and sketchy" decidedly puts one in the latter camp. I suppose those in that camp would summarize the litigation as centering around "something something Apple didn't invent the rounded corner blah blah something something," right?

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