BlackBerry Sues iPhone Keyboard Case-Maker Typo

    January 3, 2014
    Sean Patterson
    Comments are off for this post.

Having dismissed singer Alicia Keys as its global creative director, BlackBerry this week is now looking to protect what little it has left by defending its patents.

BlackBerry today announced that it has filed suit against Typo, a company that creates an iPhone case with a built-in keyboard. The Typo keyboard case is set to ship this month and can be pre-ordered for $99.

BlackBerry is claiming that Typo has infringed on its BlackBerry keyboard design, and that it must protect its intellectual property rights “from blatant copying and infringement.”

“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,” said Steve Zipperstein, chief legal officer at BlackBerry. “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.”

BlackBerry smartphones are well-known for including hardware keyboards. Even when joining other manufacturers with its touch-focused BlackBerry 10 OS last year, BlackBerry announced the BlackBerry Q10, a version of its high-end Z10 smartphone with a physical keyboard. This capitulation to what their business customers once wanted did not help BlackBerry 10 find success, and the company last quarter wrote off billions of dollars worth of its hardware.

Typo was founded by Show Media CEO Laurence Hallier and TV/radio personality Ryan Seacrest. The company’s mission was to provide iPhone users with a high-quality physical keyboard that could be used for quick typing by those who often correspond using their mobile devices.

TYPO PRODUCTS – iPhone Keyboard Case from Typo on Vimeo.

  • http://www.slimtop10.com Slim

    Now it will be interesting to see what happens because last year we saw competition between Apple and Samsung and it seems that Blackberry has entered into rivalry with Apple.

  • http://www.skybits.com Laura Gullett

    Ironically I still say the larger key keyboard on the side is much better than any tiny keys like this, or especially dumb Blackberry keys. People age 40 and up, most males, or anyone visually challenged, will fat finger this one just like the useless Blackberry tiny key one. The back lighting is a good idea. All phones should have that back lighting prominently available for the user.

    There were many positive comments about the slide out keyboard on the side that seems to also have disappeared. I love that one and wish to find a good phone that has it, but the industry made the signal weaker on those phones, per comments by users.

    People should have what they want. If Typo can create this one then they should create the one on the side as another option with the larger keys, and make it slide out from underneath, like that one did too. The keys can stay depressed and off until it slides out and clicks for instance. I know the option could be done.

    Laura Gullett