BlackBerry-Style iPhone Keyboard Sales Banned by Court

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A U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of California has issued a preliminary injunction against the Typo keyboard. The peripheral is a BlackBerry-style keyboard attachment for iPhone devices.

According to a New York Times report the judge overseeing the case believes that BlackBerry's copyright claims against the Typo product are likely to hold up in court. The injunction bans sales, importation, and marketing of the Typo keyboard in the U.S. until the legal matter is resolved.

According to a statement sent out this weekend from BlackBerry the company is "flattered" by the concept of the Typo but "will not tolerate the deliberate use of our iconic design without proper permission."

BlackBerry first filed its lawsuit against Typo back in January, calling the device "blatant copying and infringement" of its intellectual property rights. The injunction request was filed later in January, just as the Typo was set to ship to its first pre-order customers.

“From the beginning, BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence," said Steve Zipperstein, chief legal officer at BlackBerry at the time the lawsuit was filed. "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.”

The company behind the Typo keyboard was founded by Show Media CEO Laurence Hallier and Radio/TV personality Ryan Seacrest. According to the company's founders, the idea behind the keyboard came as Hallier and Seacrest saw that each carried a touchscreen smartphone for apps and a smartphone device with a physical keyboard for quicker messaging and email capabilities. The company's mission statement involves providing a "high-quality physical keyboard" for iPhone users who use their mobile devices for correspondence.

According to the Times report Typo this weekend issued a statement on the court's decision stating that it is "disappointed" with the decision and that the company has plans to appeal.

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