I’m tied into tech and the Typo iPhone case barely made a blip on my radar. It’s a case with a hardware QWERTY keyboard designed for iPhone 5/5S. There’s nothing particularly special about that. There have been a number of keyboard solutions for the iPhone over the years, some portrait, some landscape sliders.
It’s sort of an “old fashioned” idea that many people will poo-poo anyway as there seems to be a collective hatred of hardware keyboards from the self-proclaimed “Tech Elite” on the intarwebs.
Here’s a video showing the Typo off:
About the only novel aspect of Typo was the fact that it was backed by Ryan Seacrest of all people. No. Big. Whoop.
That is until Blackberry went and stepped their foot in it.
Delivered via press release, BB Chief Legal Counsel Steve Zipperstein had this to say:
“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,”
Would the Typo have been a success on its own? Backed by Seacrest, probably yes, but I still have significant doubts that it would have been high mind share. Regardless of the legal outcome, Blackberry just guaranteed that it’s going to show up in a lot more headlines now. You just can’t buy that kind of publicity…
Full BB PR after the jump.
BlackBerry Files Suit Against Typo – BlackBerry charges Typo has infringed its Keyboard Patents
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Jan. 3, 2014) – BlackBerry(R) 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(TM) 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(R) 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 recognized 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.
A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry(R) revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.blackberry.com.
Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used herein, words such as “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “intend”, “believe”, and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by BlackBerry Limited in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that BlackBerry believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause BlackBerry’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the “Risk Factors” section of BlackBerry’s Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BlackBerry’s forward-looking statements. BlackBerry has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.