BlackBerry announced it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Typo, the iPhone case manufacturer, claiming the latter has blatantly copied BlackBerry’s keyboard.
Typo was founded by entrepreneur Laurence Hallier and media personality Ryan Seacrest, and announced pre-orders for the Typo keyboard for this month after a debut at CES 2014 next week.
“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,” said Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.
As the BlackBerry press release points out, the Typo Keyboard infringes on BlackBerry patents. The lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District of California.
Update: Typo has emailed us a response to the suit, saying the case against them from BlackBerry “lacks merit” and they will defend their keyboard “vigorously”:
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.
This looks like it’ll be an interesting fight. Get the popcorn ready, folks.