Seacrest’s Typo says they’ll ‘defend the case vigorously’ against BlackBerry

Ian Hardy

January 4, 2014 8:53am

Looks like Typo, the Seacrest-funded iPhone keyboard, has received its fair share of free publicity.

BlackBerry announced yesterday that they decided to go after the case maker for reportedly copying its iconic smartphone keyboard. BlackBerry’s Chief Legal Officer, Steve Zipperstein, said was a “blatant infringement” with plans to “vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design.”

Typo has now issued a statement on Mashable and they are not backing down, claiming that the suit “lacks merit” and they too intend to “defend the case vigorously.” Full statement below:

“We are aware of the lawsuit that Blackberry filed today against Typo Products. Although we respect Blackberry and its intellectual property, we believe that Blackberry’s claims against Typo lack merit and we intend to defend the case vigorously. We are excited about our innovative keyboard design, which is the culmination of years of development and research. The Typo keyboard has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from the public. We are also looking forward to our product launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week and remain on track to begin shipping pre-orders at the end of January.”

  • Gilbert Marcoux

    I wonder if by “years of development” they mean that they used blackberries for years

    • Superion

      BINGO!

    • WhoCares1000

      “culmination of years of development”… would love to see what they
      bring to court as evidence. I picture it as a picture of 9900 or Q10
      with a circle around and the words “COPY!!!!:” written beside it.

  • Alejandro Díaz

    “lacks merit” Bro, your keyboard looks exactly like the Q10’s keyboard.

  • shacker2762

    C’mon Seacrest! At least make the keyboard a different color, maybe?

    • Joshua W Boudreau

      Black is a pretty standard colour

    • shacker2762

      Umm.. yes. I know that. My comment had a hint of wit in it. Sorry it didn’t come through clearly enough :-/

    • Dimitri

      It did, just he didn’t read it properly and understand it.

  • Jim Vyhlidal

    Am I surprised… no. In manufacturing copyrights are different from music or media. You just have to change the design by 10-20%, and its a new part, that needs a new copyright. Even a major material change, changing a part from plastic to rubber, could work around a manufacturing copyright.

  • Frederick Edwards

    “Vigorously protect” — that sounds like they are planning for a long court case in hopes BBRY will be gone before it’s ever settled.

    • thedosbox

      The problem with that strategy is that Blackberry holds a boatload of patents. Those could be spun-off to a third party “licensing entity” if they finally collapse. That third-party could then continue the lawsuit.

    • Frederick Edwards

      Undoubtedly. I’d rather see it settled fast to help BBRY now instead of some Rockstar consortium in the future, but the long patent/appeal process seems more suited to benefit lawyers than protect intellectual property.

  • KID ANDROID

    The angled keys and fretts between the rows of keys are a blatant copy of BlackBerry iconic keyboard and typo are complete i****s if they don’t see it and are going to waste millions defending such a blatant copyright infringement case. Seacrest is involved though and we all know how conceded he is I mean he did buy yes buy his own place on the walk of fame lol, so I’m sure they have their heads so far up their you know that they don’t even see what what they’ve done.

  • Max Fireman

    I hope blackberry wins, just because I hate Ryan Seadouche

  • AKDISQUS

    BlackBerry should have at least asked judge to halt sale.

    • Lamar

      YES!! whats the point of suing if they still gonna sell before this trial is concluded

    • Matthew Vanberg

      It doesn’t say here, but they did file for an injunction to halt initial sales launch.

    • Rawrrr

      Judge who? Lucy Koh? The apple vs Samsung judge? LOL

  • peecrest

    Typo has nothing to defend – this is a blatant knockoff of blackberry’s QWERTY keyboard and they know it. Sorry Peecrest – just because you’re a glamour-boy media douche, doesn’t mean you can go and knock stuff off. be original f****r

  • Superion

    I would love to hear Typo’s case for how this product does not copy BlackBerry’s Keyboard.

  • Patrick Taylor

    No, this keyboard is NOT identical to the blackberry Q10. Anyone saying so needs to have a much closer look and compare the two. Just because “it looks close to” doesn’t equal infrengment. Besides, did BB patent the keyboard layout? Did they patent the key design? If so, then maybe they have a case, apple can sue over curves (rounded corners) then BB can do the same. But it is not a direct copy.

    • jellmoo

      Er… yes it is. It even has the same metal frets as on the Q10.

      Think about the amount of time and money that Blackberry put into their design. You cannot just copy that and use it for another product.

    • WhoCares1000

      Look at the key design, they have the BlackBerry patented raise with an angled dip in the right top corners.

      The keys are an exact copy and the layout as well. When I first saw this I thought of the 9900 keyboard then the Q10 one. It’s a closer copy then rectangles with rounded corners.

    • Joshua W Boudreau

      I’ve been saying this for a while. It does look different. Blackberry might have a case on the key ridges, but I don’t know if Blackberry will win this one. It could go either way depending on BB’s patents.

    • Graham Fluet

      I believe they patented the frets. How about you compare the Typo and Blackberry keyboards to historical keyboards from other devices (before Android and iPhone killed them off)

    • Tyrone_83

      their not identical?? Did you even thought that through before posting such nonsense and rubbish?

    • Rory

      After reading this, there are only two possible conclusions; you’re either blind or you lack eyes entirely.

    • SmartOneBC

      The keyboard and many different aspects of it has well over 300 patents do some research. Typo doesn’t have a leg to stand on! It’s a total ripoff of the q10 keyboard. Years of development from typo ya ok…

  • Ryan

    What a bunch of thieves

  • WhoCares1000

    All Seacrest and company have to do is is license the the design. Fighting it is a waste of money on both sides as TYPO will lose. If they win then Samsung should get a refund from Apple.

  • WhoCares1000

    All Seacrest and company have to do is is license the the design. Fighting it is a waste of money on both sides as TYPO will lose. If they win then Samsung should get a refund from Apple.

    • Joshua W Boudreau

      Apple should have never won that case, anyway. It was the miracle of very good lawyers that won that case.

    • Lamar

      very true!

    • Rawrrr

      LOL I wouldn’t say miracle. Judge Lucy Koh was probably high on something.

    • Matthew Vanberg

      High on getting paid off. They know what Judge to get their cases in front of.

  • sicsicpuppy

    Wouldn’t be the first time Seacrest got bum hurt

  • sicsicpuppy

    Wouldn’t be the first time Seacrest got bum hurt

  • Matthew Vanberg

    Personally, it’s a pointless product, but obviously there are enough consumers that want it. I believe the down and out folks over at BlackBerry are grasping at straws. Sorry guys, you’re on the Blockbuster video path to obsoleteness. Why waste time and money on a hopeless swing at a burgeoning company?

    • Joshua W Boudreau

      If Blackberry loses the suit, which they might, it’s just more money wasted for the company. I don’t know if this was the best course of action for them.

    • Dimitri

      They won’t lose. If you look at the patents they own. They own the patent for ANY smartphone Keyboard which includes cases that resemble or have the same design and keys of a Iconic Blackberry Keyboard. The judge will most likely want them to settle out of court in which Typo will have to pay royalties and a fee.

      Also Typo doesn’t have a patented Keyboard nor that design, Blackberry does tho and u can see this online when Blackberry was rewarded the Patent for the smartphone Keyboard.

    • Matthew Vanberg

      At a straight on angle the keys do look very similar. but at a very close angled view of both, it is very clear that there are ergonomic differences in the keys bevel on both sides of the curve. Toss in some rearranged key functions, added shortcuts, and noted difference in response. You have a unique product. I wouldn’t be so sure about the outcome on this one.

      Or any case of patent or copyright infringement. The judge could think like me, or think like you, or someone with a complete different mindset than both of us. And we don’t know many facts here, so it’s quite difficult to judge – unless we are the ‘judge.’

    • Dimitri

      In 2009 Blackberry was awarded the patent in which Blackberry now owns the Qwerty Keyboard.. This means any case manufacturer, phone manufacturer and anyone else which wants to make a Qwerty Keyboard must get the approval and agreements from Blackberry to do so. Also yes but Blackberry does own the patent for that exact Keyboard layout as well. They got that patent as well. I do agree with u but from all the patents i have read and seen from Blackberry, they most likely will win. Typo doesn’t have much nor do they have patents like BlackBerry on a keyboard.

      We will see when it hits the courts but i can guarantee that Blackberry will win or Typo will try and settle out of court due to them realizing this isn’t a game, its basically a lawsuit.

    • Columbo

      Either way it seems like good publicity. To the average eye it clearly looks like it’s a blatant copy and most people, even just judging by the comments here, are on BlackBerry’s side. If it makes it to TV news etc there will be tons of images of the Q10 beside this thing, basically free advertising for BlackBerry.

    • Matthew Vanberg

      Not quite free. But, it is interesting how many people want to see Seacrest fail.

    • SmartOneBC

      Because sea rest is a douche bag

    • SmartOneBC

      Clearly you’re to stupid to know how patents work. A company can’t make something exactly the same for profit and claim as their own.

      Blackberry is far from dead you Americans are just blinded by the bias bs from the media. They’re so screwed with over 3 billion cash zero debt and no loans..

    • Matthew Vanberg

      It’s clear you assume far too much. What I know, is patent law is tricky and there is no way YOU can say this product is ‘exactly’ the same. Physical appearance alone does not constitute patent infringement.

      Blackberry may make money in other divisions, but they have lost money on there most recent phone releases. Their share of the cell phone market is tiny and shrinking. And that is what I’m talking about.

      About the only thing you got right was that I’m American.

    • Rawrrr

      “Physical appearance does not constitute patent infringement”.. well said, but what of Apple’s rounded corners argument that apparently won in the court of law? Clearly, physical appearance did the trick for Apple.. your argument has no merit.

  • Rawrrr

    “We are excited about our innovative keyboard design, which is the culmination of years of development and research” stolen from the Q10. LOL

    • Dimitri

      Lol exactly. If Blackberry did not invent the keyboard design they are using. I could see Typo owning it but when Blackberry got the patent in 2009 for the Qwerty Keyboard, Blackberry basically owns the Qwerty Keyboard and any design with it. Also the Iconic Blackberry Keyboard is patented to Blackberry and the design Typo used it ripped out of the 9900 and Q10.

  • Bbrysucks

    Bb has already lost. This is just click bait for the rampant bb-homos circlejerking each other here. Lol smh.

    • Dimitri

      Your user name just gives away how low of a troll you are.

    • Bbrysucks

      It just states the obvious. And my comments are true to the letter as well. Its quite comical how this is pretty much the only site outside of crackberry with folks having such a distorted and demented view of the world and more specifically bb and their products.
      Dead, deader, and gone is this brand and products, yet you suckers keep cash in the pockets of mobilesuckups via click bait. Humorous yet sad at the same time.

    • Dimitri

      Let me guess. You will keep trolling anyone u see because of what reason again? How about u do this. Stay off the site for a bit. Learn to troll and maybe just maybe when u know how to to troll someone or a company, come back. Your insults and trolling are just down right idiotic and make no sense

  • Stylinred

    has anyone had a typo kb in hand? are the keys an exact replica or blackberries? because the typo reminds me on nokias keyboards for nokia E-Series devices more than they do blackberries
    edit: nope nevermind i see it now

  • Charles888

    Come on! Everybody knows that. Apple owns rectangles with round corners, and Blackberry owns QWERTY keyboards on a phone.
    Get with the program!

  • morgan

    Gotta side with bb on this one. One thing they did right was the keyboard. Get real Apple, hope they get their asses handed to them on this one. Seacrest can Suck it

  • scott flynn

    Amazing. If it was Samsung copying Apple – the case would already be in the bag.. but this Canadian company, um, who are they again? They make keyboards on phones? They make phones? Huh? We never knew… and besides – its for Apple – so anything goes! We’re right and that Canadian company (who are they again?) – well, they should just suck it up. Because its for Apple.

    • SmartOneBC

      Have you even used a new blackberry the z30 blows that pos iphone out if the water. You keep hitting that home button with no multitasking and no real design change since 2010. Apple is pushing innovation with a faster CPU bigger screen better camera.

      Wow it’s amazing lmao it’s a pos.

    • scott flynn

      I must have really messed up. My sarcasm obviously didn’t come through.
      If this was a patent suit brought on by Apple – they would have won simply because they are Apple – because they can do no wrong. Because this is Blackberry, the industry insiders figure this infringement is OK. You know – because its for Apple…
      I’m pro Blackberry. I love Blackberry. Many people I know use Blackberry because of its great security. I really wish people would get the heck off of Blackberry’s back and support them (They are Canadian!!) instead of tearing them down every chance they get.
      The keyboard idea is good – but from what I have seen, the keyboard is close enough to Blackberry’s that I would call this a closed case – nail that Typo company to the wall for it.

  • Richard_s1881

    BLACKBERRY TAKE THEM DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Robert J. Muir

    This is no longer about infringement as much as creative design has been patented and sold to the highest bidder, then sued a thousand times. Its what Apple does every time something doesn’t go their way, pretty much like every American.

  • Chris Duffy

    They’re going to lose the lawsuit (Typo). Even the crescent shape on the keyboard is identical to BlackBerry. They obviously ripped it off from them. Now, I will also say that BlackBerry is stupid for suing on this … just because a keyboard is a keyboard. All they need to do is make a keyboard and not copy the design groove for groove.
    It’s just a keyboard BlackBerry … get over yourself. It’s not that unique.

    • Stephen_81

      Saying a Keyboard is a keyboard is like saying “shoes are shoes” There are very unique things about using a BlackBerry keyboard over say a Nokia E5 which is also a portrait keyboard device which DOESN’T infringe on BlackBerry patents or trade dress.

      Because the keyboard is less and less relevant to the mobile user so protecting their IP from copying is even more important.

  • BB BB

    BB could have made something like this for iPhone and Android users who miss the bb qwerty experience.

    Not sure how well this will sell. It makes the iphone awkwardly long and the case is ugly takes away touchID and drains battery.

  • Brutemandave

    I have to admit the typo design is strongly reminiscent of the Blackberry keyboard both with the fret design and the distinct angular ridges on the individual qwerty keys. Blackberry has a genuine case here.

    • Tom

      Correct, BB isn’t angry about the fact that it’s a keyboard, they’re angry about the fact that the key shapes are too similar to something they probably patented.

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    I believe Seacrest to have more money in his pocket that Blackberry have assets. something they should hafve known.

  • Tom

    To clear up misconceptions – BlackBerry isn’t pissed off that this is a keyboard case (or else they’d have gone after Boxwave long ago). They’re pissed off that the keys are shaped too similarly to those of their Bold and Q10 models – and they’re actually right. I have seen quite a lot of keyboard-equipped smartphones (even owned a htc desire z once, good memories) and I always thought the BB key shapes stood out as being quite unique.

  • Cottonswab

    Seacrest says they spent years in development? LOL! more like 5 seconds