BlackBerry suing Ryan Seacrest’s Typo for ‘blatant infringement’

Ian Hardy

January 3, 2014 1:10pm

BlackBerry has officially filed a patent infringement caseagainst Typo — the accessory that aims to make typing on your iPhone a bit easier.

If you recall, Typo is the startup that’s funded by Ryan Seacrest and Laurence Hallier. They developed a fretted keyboard case that allows for typing on the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s — something that has actually been done in the past. The design of Typo is identical to what BlackBerry developed for the Q10, which is a “significant market differentiator for its mobile handheld devices,” and that’s why they’re taking action.

In a press release today, Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer stated, “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.”

Typo is expecting to start shipping its case sometime this month and retails for $99 USD.

Source: MarketWired
Via: Variety

  • deltatux

    I think no one was surprised that this was going to happen when this thing was unveiled.

  • JB

    ROTFLMFAO……….good bye Typo.

    • Bbrysucks

      You’re a H. O. M. O.

    • JB

      Grow up

    • thisiscjay

      He’s butthurt BlackBerry isn’t dying. He is praying in his basement with the voodoo dolls and candles trying to figure out what is going wrong lmao

    • JB

      Lol

  • The_Nexus

    “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.”

    Translation – “We need money.. hey there’s a company we can sue the pants off of and settle out of court to get some of that sweet sweet dough ray me”

    • Humberto Giambrone

      It doesn’t matter what your general opinion of Blackberry is, this is blatant infringement. It’s like they were begging to be sued with this thing.

    • The_Nexus

      It may be blatant infringement – the court will decide that if it ever gets that far. It doesn’t change the fact that Blackberry IS hurting and IS in need of money. My opinion on how good or bad or right or wrong using/owning/supporting Blackberry is irrelevant.

    • NinoBr0wn

      It also is irrelevant, which is the point.

    • Acer12345

      You hatred for BlackBerry is blinding you. It IS blatant infringement. If you cared enough, you’d search up the Q10 and compare it with this Typo case. It’s exactly the same design, down to the frets and bevel of the keys.

    • The_Nexus

      “Hatred” is a strong word – and passing judgment on someone you don’t know is hardly appropriate – but hey it’s the Interwebs and you can do as you please right?

    • thisiscjay

      “Passing judgement on someone(something) you don’t know” – how ironic in contrast to your disdain for BlackBerry lol

    • The_Nexus

      Another individual that loves to cast aspersions on teh web. I hope you find what ever it is you’re looking for.

    • thisiscjay

      Please, stop contradicting yourself… the hypocrisy is astounding.

    • The_Nexus

      Why do you have such disdain for someone you clearly do not know? Peace to you.

    • Bbrysucks

      Your G. A. Y.

    • thisiscjay

      Aw feeling upset Lil guy?

    • Bbrysucks

      He is just one of a few very delicate wankers here on mobilesuckups.

    • The_Nexus

      Yes, that’s right. “delicate wanker” – such good use of the Queen’s English. Well said my most noble and forthright friend.

    • It’s Me

      You are right, it doesn’t change the fact that they are hurting. But somehow, you tried to make the lawsuit about the fact that they are hurting. The lawsuit is about infringement, not whether they are hurting or not.

      Thanks for being an example of just how s tupid some people can be on the interwebs.

    • hi

      hes just sad because no one agrees with him

    • biggardr

      BlackBerry may be struggling but they are far from financial ruins They have every right to protect their design from being copied without compensation.

    • Jason Mckinnon

      Not only that… Apple sues everyone for everything… from the sounds of this addon its currently only really for the Apple phones… Im not surprised people are biting back at every chance they get

    • John Tresidder

      Cracks me up. Ifans think it’s just fine that apple patents a rectangle with rounded corners, and then sues everyone that has already been using that shape long before iprouducts ever existed, and in different sized devices. Yet blackberry patents a very specific keyboard along with specific features and size, then is called a patent troll for wanting someone else to compensate them for using it. Guess apple created a innovative new group called ihypocrites!

    • Lamar

      “Guess apple created a innovative new group called ihypocrites!”– BAM!!!

    • It’s Me

      Cracks me up. Some people have such wood for Apple that even with stories that have nothing at all to do with Apple, somehow they just have to find a way to talk about them.

    • John Tresidder

      Your totally right. This article about a keyboard for the iPhone has absolutely nothing to do with apple… My bad:/

    • thisiscjay

      Hahahhahahahahahhahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahhahahhahahahahah

    • It’s Me

      Correct. This article about BB suing a company with no affiliation to Apple has nothing to with Apple. Similarly, a story about someone suing toyo over their tires would have nothing to do with Honda or Ford, just because their tires fit Hondas and fords.

      Genius.

    • John Tresidder

      Yeah… that’s totally the same. I already said you were right, what more do you want?

    • It’s Me

      And I agreed with you. I figured it was shortbus day.

  • AReid

    Everyone saw this coming but BB won’t win. Typo is an add on, how can BB think they will win? If anything they’re giving Typo free publicity.

    • JB

      Please dont ever go into law…

    • Lamar

      HAHA!!

    • Dimitri

      Blackberry owns the Qwerty Keyboard on smartphones. Blackberry also owns the design of the keyboard which is used on Typo. Remember, if u will use something that is patented, you need to get the approval from that company and agreements.

      Typo nor did Ryan did that so Blackberry as the owner will sue them which i see fair.

    • ignites

      BlackBerry has a patent on the keyboard with THAT layout. This is a keyboard with THAT layout. Which part did you get?

    • Joe_Kaistoe

      I would be willing to bet the BlackBerry not only has an Industrial Design registered for the appearance of their keyboard (which this clearly infringes on, it even uses the same font!) but also has patents on the shape of the keys, the mechanism used for giving feedback when pressing the keys, and (at least in the US) the software that interprets the key strokes.

    • thisiscjay

      www(dot)m(dot)crackberry(dot)com/rim-granted-patent-angular-blackberry-keyboard

  • beyond

    when will this patent insanity end

    • Dimitri

      Blackberry patented the Qwerty Keyboard in 2009 if i am not mistaken.Blackberry barely sues anyone or even goes to court. If they do, they are going for the right reasons.

    • beyond

      qwerty keyboard was not invented by Blackberry. It was created long long time ago. If there’s a patent it must be for the shape or some other design aspect. Which I still think is ridiculous in itself.

    • Quadron

      They’re not suing because it’s a keyboard, they’re suing because it is an EXACT COPY of the keyboard blackberry spent years perfecting.

      I hate patents as much as the next guy as they stifle innovation, but this patent isn’t as general as “phone with rounded corners”, it’s very specific and anyone who impedes on it deserves to be struck down.

    • thisiscjay

      www(dot)m(dot)crackberry(dot)com/rim-granted-patent-angular-blackberry-keyboard

    • WhoCares1000

      Finally some common sense in the comments.
      There are many ways to design a keyboard but TYPO did an exact copy of it. If you were asked if you could tell just the keyboards apart from a distance, you would say they are both the same, because they are.

    • Super_Deluxe

      But they did patent that keyboard layout

    • Dimitri

      Did i say they invented it? I did not. If u read my post like u should have i said “Blackberry patented the Qwerty Keyboard in 2009″ never once did i say they made the Qwerty Keyboard..

    • beyond

      yes you said it, indirectly. company patents X usually means they were involved in X’s development.

    • Dimitri

      Even tho they did not make the Qwerty Keyboard, they are the sole owners now and they have the patent for keyboards on smartphones which means they own it. Anyone wants a keyboard on a phone let’s say, they must get the permission and agreements from Blackberry. I get your point tho.

    • gommer strike

      You don’t get it. Take a very close look at that keyboard. Pay attention to exactly the way the keys are recessed to fit your thumbs. Do a comparison on the exact font, the size, literally everything about it, and it’s not hard at all to see that this is literally a copy/paste of the Blackberry keyboard.

      Seacrest could have colored it pink, purple, or crazy colors. He could have changed the font of the letters on the keys. He could have made some subtle layout changes, and maybe even alter the thumb grooves on the keys so some of them are flat, and some are grooved, and voila suddenly it “kinda” looks like a BB keyboard, but it’s not one.

      That he didn’t even care to do any of those things is laziness in the extreme. Come on, even the same shade of black, Seacrest?

  • Comrade Yeti

    Companies have to show that they’ve made efforts to protect their patents and trademarks or else they lose them. BB probably doesn’t care whether they win or lose against Typo (I mean really, how much money is there really?) but to show larger companies that they will protect their IP.

    • Dimitri

      While that is true, this shows to any phone case maker / celebrity just like Ryan that stealing ideas and adding it on a case and calling it yours is a theft without getting the agreements / the okay from the company which owns it.

      Blackberry wants to protect what is theirs. So they are doing it and the same time they are showing they are strong and willing to protect their stuff.

  • Quadron

    iirc there were a bunch of people in the old thread that claim “they won’t sue because the keyboard is just a case”.

    Funny how that works.

  • Paul Serge

    Dear Rim,
    Millions invested in a startup to copy a Q10 keyboard on a IPhone? Could there be a more obvious sign: RIM drop the BBOS, stick Android or Win8 on your devices … why are you even in the Mobile OS business??

    I bet they sell more of there then actual Blackberries.

    • thisiscjay

      Right? Mindless trolling is always the most amusing.

  • Bbrysucks

    This is the only way bb will make money moving forward. Might as well start now.

    • Super_Deluxe

      They aren’t making any money off of it which is why they are suing them. Ryan stole their keyboard layout and tried to make profit out of it which is called stealing. So you fail at trolling sir.

  • daftchemist

    It’s so similar, they probably just recycled old BB phones :P.

  • Jonathan Schmitt

    I think I speak for pretty much anyone on this site, but we all saw this coming the moment we saw this keyboard.

  • Lamar

    Anyone who hates on BlackBerry for doing this, I recommend you get checked out for any signs of mental illness.

    • Bbrysucks

      You sound like the other bb fangirls yapping in these comments, that being ghey. You know… G. A. Y.

    • Lamar

      lol you hungry?

    • Columbo

      It’s one thing to mindlessly hate an inanimate company (pretty dumb, but to each his own), but you’ve crossed the line to homophobia buddy and that’s not cool.

      edit – directed @ bbrysucks, not Lamar

    • Anon-e-mouse

      And your a 13 year old Apple fan girl yapping away. Goes both ways buddy. Just leave people alone instead of insulting everyone.

  • mwahahahaha

    Society should file a case against Blackberry for abusing the concept of failure

    • Lamar

      OHHHH… BURNNNNN

  • gommer strike

    It’s as if Seacrest just took BB keyboards from the assembly line and decided to go “hey look what we can do with these”.

    Couldn’t he at least color the keyboard a slightly different shade? Or even just change the font of the letters printed? The whole thing just smacks of laziness. I mean just look at it. Look at the way the thumb recesses are in the keys. It’s *exactly* a BB keyboard.

  • Dimitri

    Go outside, live the real word before trolling man.

    • Bbrysucks

      You shut your pie hole.

  • RoboBonobo

    In my humble opinion, BBQ10 is better than an iPhone with this keyboard. You can’t even press the home button to access Siri or multitasking. If you’re looking at getting an iPhone with this case, you’re better off with a Q10. And I’m no fan of the Q10.

    • RoboBonobo

      Plus one of the original selling points in the iPhone original keynote was that it has on-screen keyboard so it doesn’t need to have keys cluttering up the face of the device. Ryan is like, “OH I KNOW! Let’s put a keyboard on it!”. Real Apple fans don’t want a keyboard because it goes against Steve Jobs’ vision of keyless.

    • Dirty_Harry2

      Coincidentally Steve Jobs and Blackberry will soon have something in common.

    • Bbrysucks

      Yes, this keyboard is a piece of junk (just like a real bb), but you’re clueless. Home button is on the bottom right blind girl.

    • RoboBonobo

      It doesn’t activate Siri or multitasking. All it does is put you back on the home screen. You can’t longpress or doublepress. You have to take the case off just to close apps and stop them running in the background.

  • CHP

    Good for them! Now sell one yourself @Blackberry!

  • Rawrrr

    Just checked the Typo website.. and holy shizzy, it looks exactly like my bro’s Q10.. dafuq?! lol Maybe Ryan Seacrest was thinking BB won’t have enough money to take action on this.. LMAO!!

  • Columbo

    One thing’s for sure, nothing on this site polarizes people more than a BB story.

  • McTrevors

    copied to the max. Typo got to have a good team of lawyers…
    Patents suck!

  • Dirty_Harry2

    The main difference is the Typo is attached to a competent phone, which sadly hasn’t been true of the Blackberry keyboard since the early 2000s.

  • Dirty_Harry2

    This just in: Ford sues Honda for round wheels.

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    for cyring out loud, it is just a qwerty keyboard attached to a phone. You now gonna tell me blackberry invented the qwerty keyboard?