Less than three weeks after suing Ryan Seacrest’s iPhone accessory company, Typo, for patent infringement, Canadian phone maker BlackBerry is moving to block the sale of the Typo keyboard case in the United States.
As Martyn Williams at the IDG News Service reports, the company asked the federal District Court of Northern California on Wednesday to prohibit “making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States, the Typo Keyboard.”
While Typo’s official response to BlackBerry’s claims is that they are without merit, Seacrest — who has invested over $US1 million in the company — has stated that the reason he co-founded Typo in the first place was that he was sick of carrying both a BlackBerry and an iPhone.
In addition, favourable reviews have pointed to the device as a solid option for BlackBerry keyboard fans: “A couple of former BlackBerry addicts I spoke with who had tried it were over the moon about it,” wrote Walt Mossberg in his review of the $US99 attachment over at Re/code.
BlackBerry cites both of these factors in their latest motion, claiming that Typo is basically gaining customers with a combination of associations to its brand, and by selling a product that’s derivative of designs it holds patents for.
Having essentially lost the consumer market, BlackBerry has begun to focus on retaining its government and enterprise customers. Of course, the latter is the exact market Typo is going after. More specifically, the company is trying to go after executives who’d rather use an iPhone but still want a keyboard like those on BlackBerry devices. In the customer testimonial section of its site, Typo highlights CEOs and founders as happy customers:
It’s unclear what this latest motion means for those who have already pre-ordered the case, which is sold out through the months of January and February, according to Typo’s site.