BlackBerry asks Court to block U.S. sales of Typo, says the case poses ‘an imminent threat of irreparable harm’

Ian Hardy

January 24, 2014 8:30am

The saga between BlackBerry and Ryan Seacrest’s Typo iPhone case continues. According to a post on CIO, BlackBerry has submitted a request to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to block Typo from “making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States, the Typo Keyboard.”

When the Typo keyboard was unveiled late last year, BlackBerry promised to “vigorously protect” its intellectual property as there were some similarities between the case and their iconic keyboard design. In retaliation, Typo declared, “BlackBerry’s claims against [us] lack merit and we intend to defend the case vigorously.” BlackBerry has come forward with two specific patents that Typo infringes on:  U.S. Design Patent 685,775 that covers the design of a “handheld electronic device,” and U.S. Patent 7,629,964 that targets “an electronic device with keyboard optimized for use with the thumbs.”

The court doc reportedly noted that “Typo’s blatant copying of BlackBerry’s keyboard presents an imminent threat of irreparable harm to BlackBerry, and that threat is magnified in combination with the significant market power of the iPhone.”

Pre-orders for the $99 (USD) Typo case quickly sold out and the first round of shipments are expected to arrive in the next few weeks. Any new orders for the case Typo is now showing a shipping date of “Mid March 2014.”

Source: CIO
Via: Typo

  • TheTruthIsNotOutThere

    Who do they think they are, Apple? Ridiculous. .. Go after them legally then. ..

    • alphs22

      Because only Apple protects their intellectual property.

    • Dimitri

      Apple is the only company that i have seen which is greedy and sue anyone and anything to keep them from losing money and fame.

      Blackberry is doing this as this was a total rip the ff of the original BlackBerry Keyboard. Main difference is BlackBerry isn’t suing for a phone size / corners and or icons. They are suing because of the keyboard

    • alphs22

      What business would want to lose money?

      The Apple-Samsung lawsuit was about a slew of GUI and physical design mimicry, not just a row of icons or rounded corners. If your phone looks similar physically and the look of the software feels similar – what else needs to be similar before it’s considered infringement?

      In that lawsuit, even one of Samsung’s lawyers had a hard time separating an iPad from a Galaxy Tab from about 10 feet away.

    • Josh Brown

      Yeah right maybe in doctered photos I have a galaxy tab 10.1 and my sister in-law has a iPad 2. They are not even the same shape one is square and one is rectangle. They are not the same aspect ratio. You can tell from 100 feet away.

    • alphs22

      Actual devices were held up in the courtroom, not photos.

      Feel free to use the power of the internet to look into it.

    • Josh Brown

      Then they must be blind because the tab 10.1 was 1/2″ longer and 1/2″ narrower, and has a giant Samsung logo on the front. There is also a silver border all the way around it. I have had them side by side and unless you cant see 10′ infront of you there is no way to confuse them. A GM and a Ford car look exactly the same from 100′ away should GM not make cars because you cant make a car without four wheels and ford did that first?

    • alphs22

      You realize that the original iPad also had a silver trim around it right?

      And no, GM and Ford cars don’t look exactly the same from any reasonable distance, because if they did you would have heard about a lawsuit.

    • Al Chui

      Actually Ford wasn’t the first car, there were several before them including Buick & Mercedes. Ford’s “first” was actually the assembly line.

    • Josh Brown

      It was just to illustrate the stupidity of it.

    • Josh Brown

      “I hate to say it, but there are enough distinguishing features between the iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to pick them apart at 10 feet, especially if you’re a Samsung lawyer, who should be intimately familiar with the two devices. We don’t know what angle they were held up at, but if the screens were visible, then the iPad Home button would be a giveaway, as would the Samsung logo on the Tab. In addition, the Galaxy Tab is thinner and longer because it has a widescreen while the iPad has a 4:3 screen. The back colors of the tablets are also different and the iPad has a tapered edge while the Galaxy Tab has a rounded edge. Then, of course, there’s the buttons. The power button and volume keys on the iPad 2 are dark in color, different in placement and color than the silver Galaxy Tab buttons. The rear camera is also in a different place completely–upper left when in vertical orientation on the iPad and top center landscape on the Galaxy Tab. From what I remember, the Galaxy Tab doesn’t even have a screen lock button, so that’s a giveaway right there, if it’s visible. ”

      From Digital Trends

    • alphs22

      By focusing the aspect ratio and other things like button placement, you’ve missed the whole point of the lawsuit.

      You’re right, the two devices are not exactly the same. But that wasn’t the point. If I made a device that looks exactly like the iPad but changed the button layout slightly, does that mean that I’m protected from any lawsuits? If I made my device half an inch wider but otherwise exactly the same, am I not copying?

      Apple’s argument was that the devices were similar ENOUGH in design to constitute a violation of the intellectual property.

    • Josh Brown

      You are right what was the point of the lawsuit? That tablets kinda look alike? Yes they do. So do cars, planes, calculators, microwaves, mitre saws. They are all designed to serve a purpose, they can only look so different while still being able to be a tablet.

    • alphs22

      The difference is that Apple had been granted a design patent for their products?

      If some calculator manufacturer feels like their design is superior and/or unique in some way, then applied for and was granted a design patent for their calculator, then they have the right to protect their patent for 14 years. That’s the system in place.

      If you want to argue against the validity of the patent system, or whether or not Apple deserved the patent in the first place, go ahead. But you can’t blame them for operating within the system and protecting their patent.

    • Josh Brown

      Except the US patent office has come out and said it is easier to grant almost all patents and let the courts decide. Well when they use a Jury/court that is right beside apple headquarters the chances of a korean company getting a fair trial is slim. And yes I think these stupid patents should be done away with. they are to vague when they are written, like rounded corners and the colour black, you cant patent that.

    • TheTruthIsNotOutThere

      The same can be said about watches smart guy. .. Please. Apple are nothing but bullies who can afford to waste money and time on this garbage. If this patent system was in place years ago, we would have no choice or selection. Even if you make the first of anything doesn’t mean you are the best at making it better.

    • alphs22

      The US has been granting patents since the 18th century. What are you talking about?

    • TheTruthIsNotOutThere

      Being around since the 18th century says nothing. The us patent system is a mess. The judicial system has been around longer. Is that in fine working order? No.

      I wish blackberry would have made a come back, I really do. But this is like a 4 year old who isn’t getting their way. They sitting on all that cash reserve, go after them.

    • alphs22

      You said: “If this patent system was in place years ago, we would have no choice or selection”. The patent system has been in place since the 18th century.

      So unless you think that currently “we have no choice or selection” in the marketplace, your point is now moot.

  • Dimitri

    Good for them! They need to stand up for them selfs and go the hard way if Ryan doesn’t want to understand.

  • RealDeal83

    Too bad for BlarkBerry, US courts are biased in cases like this toward US based companies. I can’t see this happening any time soon.

    • JTon

      Nah man. US courts are biased towards money and political favours.

    • Donny

      It’s no wonder US courts always side with Apple.

    • TheTruthIsNotOutThere

      Aside from the fact that blackberry was just voted one of the 10 worst companies by the American population. It will be hard for them. ..

  • David Foggia

    I hope typo loses. A company this deep in debt now has to deal with Typo completely copying their trademark? Come on, that’s ridiculous and if blackberry loses, then what reason do people have to buy their phones? They will be finished if they lose. Typo straight up copied them, they cannot be able to sell it in the US or anywhere, for that matter

    • tom

      BB is not deep in debt at all, what are you talking about

    • David Foggia

      What kilwiko said.

    • Rawrrr

      That’s how you do business.. lol

    • larson

      Do you even know the cost that BlackBerry has to take on when they let go their employees? Paying people 3 months and up to 8 months in advance is not an immediate cost saving.I bet they are still paying employee packages.

    • kilowiko

      You need to go to skewl some more kid.

  • wes

    Good luck BB. If only you were an American company you’d stand a chance.

  • abtoaihoihgoihaoi

    as much as i hate blackberry, i think i hate ryan seacrest more.

    • Delphus

      thanks for the laugh!! :-)

  • hoo dat

    I doesn’t help Typo’s case that they were openly bragging about how much their keyboard was like BlackBerry’s before being sued. In fact, Seacrest made mention of the similarities in at least 3 major interviews. Funny how now Typo is now saying ”BlackBerry’s claims against [us] lack merit and we intend to defend the case vigorously.” , it’s almost like the past never existed!

    • Thomas

      1984 all over again.

  • Thomas Yok

    They better hope I’m not on the jury. As I think the keyboard has differences.

    • WhoCares1000

      Explain.
      From what I can tell BlackBerry has a patent on the shape and angle of the keys used that Typo stole. That is enough to sue.

      Yes Typo changed the order of two keys and added a home button key but the styling, spacing, shape, and frets between the rows are identical.

  • King kobi

    once again the USA always wins against Canada always bullying Canada. America looks like canada like a joke and thinKs all Canadians are morons who eat bacon

  • Super_Deluxe

    It’s called getting rid of things you don’t need anymore to save money. This always happens in business and it does mean the company is in debt either.

    • kilowiko

      Yes, it does.

  • Devin Deevey

    This is one case where I have to side with Blackberry. The typo keyboard is near identical to the blackberry keyboard, it literally looks like they chopped a blackberry in half and stuck it on the bottom of an iPhone. If they were smart they would have at least changed the design a little bit. If Typo wins this I’ll be very surprised.

  • GlobalGuyBC

    I’d be surprised if Blackberry lost their case. There are too many similarities to their keyboard phones. When BB wins they should buy the company for cheap, add their name to the product and stick it somewhat to Apple!

  • Sweet

    From what I’ve been reading, the point of contention is whether or not the patent applies to accessories or just to keyboards built into the phone. The patent (#8,162,552) states: “A keyboard for a wireless handheld mobile communication device”, which to me, does include accessories. But I’m not a patent lawyer. :-)

    There’s no question that Typo copied BB’s keyboard — the patent covers the shape and alignment of the keys, as well as the frets, all of which Typo clearly copied. But if the patent describes, or is interpreted as describing, the keyboard as a being built into the phone, then I’m pretty sure BB will lose the case.

    Business In Canada has an article discussing the lawsuit with a former USPTO director.

  • Smartphone_Expert

    Posses harm to Blackberry hahahaha LOL LOL LMAO. Blackberry posses harm to itself lol. Their the ones that continue to make huge mistakes with their business over the years and hence why their having huge financial problems now. Everyone I talk to on a daily basis don’t even consider a Blackberry device as a smartphone, they say nothing smart about them, and not smart to buy one either. Lack of apps, OS isn’t that good. If Blackberry just s@cked it up and just concentrate on building Hardware but use Android as the OS they’d make a fortune. No one wants BB10 and the sales numbers prove that with $$$$ Billions of stock left that they can’t sell. Android has the biggest market share. Blackberry should go with what works and what people want to buy.
    I for one would definitely buy a Blackberry right now if it had Android OS on it and with all the apps that android has. But for now I’d stick to the best device Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3.

  • Stephen_81

    You realize last year ScotiaBank did exactly what BlackBerry is doing this year, Nokia did the same, many organizations sell off their buildings and lease them back to freeup cashflow for further investment and to reduce the liability of land holdings.

    BlackBerry isn’t in a mountain of debt because they actually have a profitable unit. that is supporting the hardware units inability to make money. With the deals that have been inked the debt BlackBerry has ( Which they now actually do have to the tune of 1.25 Billion in convertible debentures) is of much less concern because they’ve shifted hardware liabilities.

    They are making a lot of the right moves. just hopefully management positions the right people to get BlackBerry 10 devices and BES10 installations in the right hands.

    • kilowiko

      You’re confusing a profitable company with one that has been dieing for the last 5 years. Get it together Sammy.