BlackBerry Sues Ryan Seacrest's Startup Over 'Typo' iPhone Keyboard

Friday January 3, 2014 12:47 PM PST by Juli Clover
BlackBerry today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Typo Products, a company that developed a BlackBerry-esque keyboard case for the iPhone designed to allow users to type with physical keys.

typoblackberry
The Typo Keyboard on an iPhone next to the BlackBerry Q10

First announced in December of 2013, the Typo iPhone Keyboard Case was created by Laurence Hallier and media personality Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol fame), who reportedly invested $1 million into the product.

As detailed on the Typo's product page, many of Seacrest and Hallier's friends and colleagues carried two phones – one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for other uses – a problem that the two aimed to solve with the snap-on Typo Keyboard.


According to BlackBerry, Typo has both infringed on patents and "blatantly copied" the BlackBerry keyboard, leading to a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California.
"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. 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," said Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry's General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.
Currently, the Typo iPhone Keyboard Case remains available for pre-order for $99 and is scheduled to make its public debut at CES 2014 next week.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 12 months ago
Here is a side-by-side comparison of Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air next to Samsung's 11-inch Chromebook. And no lawsuit filed against Samsung regarding this.

Rating: 17 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
Good for them. Look at that design. There could've been something done to differentiate.
Rating: 13 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
They don't use the same font, some of the keys are in different locations or nonexistent, IT IS REMOVABLE, and it is a different shape. The plastic of the keys themselves is about the same and that's it. If blackberry thinks this is worth fighting, why don't they make their own "blackberry" style keyboards for iPhones and see how well it works for them?
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
If you can't innovate your way out of a hole, Sue someone!!!
Rating: 8 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
As they should. Blatant copy.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

Here is a side-by-side comparison of Apple's 11-inch MacBook Air next to Samsung's 11-inch Chromebook. And no lawsuit filed against Samsung regarding this.

Image (http://s18.postimg.org/yv051ghix/apple_vs_samsung.jpg)


What does this have to do with Blackberry suing this other company?
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
I can't believe they stole the qwerty layout. I think they should have differentiated themselves by changing the order of the keys, and then marketing them to dyslexic people.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
Yes they look the same, but its no different to HP, Dell or Samsung copying Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro Chiclet keys. Some HP laptops look almost identical to the MBP range its unreal.

"And yes I know Sony did do some work on Chiclet key design in 2004 and the even the Sinclair range if you want to go back that far" :), but apple popularised that type of design. I'm sure if you look into it there are other devices which resemble the Blackberries key design more so than this.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

I have seen a Samsung laptop literally identical to Apple's MacBook Air. The thinness, the keyboard, trackpad and I also think the material used. Apple didn't sue Samsung because of that.

I think this is a great product but quite pricey for a plastic keyboard.


But Apple did sue for products that hardly looked like iPhones and iPads. I don't believe the MacBook Air has it's complete design patented the way this keyboard design is.


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oh lord, these blackberry folks need a red pill intervention, even if they win, who the hell would want a keyboard on their iphone? hellooo!


Many people. For me, the Blackberry keyboards are rather good and accurate, much better than an iPhone keyboard.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago
The whole thing is "_5-93+_4

oops, I meant to say

Rating: 3 Votes

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