BlackBerry announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Typo Product, a company started by TV personality Ryan Seacrest. The company makes a keyboard accessory that snaps onto the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S. BlackBerry says the accessory looks too much like the physical keyboards found on BlackBerry phones.
They look like this:
Here’s the statement from BlackBerry:
BlackBerry® Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a world leader in mobile communications, today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Typo Products LLC (“Typo”).
Typo, founded by entrepreneur Laurence Hallier and TV host and media personality Ryan Seacrest, announced the Typo Keyboard™ would be available for pre-order this month. The complaint against Typo alleges patent infringement and that Typo has blatantly copied BlackBerry’s keyboard with its iPhone® keyboard case designed to slip on to iPhone devices.
“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.
The Typo Keyboard violates BlackBerry’s intellectual property rights, and BlackBerry will protect those rights from blatant copying and infringement. BlackBerry’s iconic physical keyboard designs have been recognised by the press and the public as a significant market differentiator for its mobile handheld devices. This lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District of California.