BlackBerry is suing Typo Products LLC, the company founded by entrepreneur Laurence Hallier and TV star Ryan Seacrest. BlackBerry is suing the company because its product, the Typo Keyboard case for iPhone 5 and 5S, has a keyboard that looks very, very similar to BlackBerry’s iconic physical keyboard featured on many of its devices, including the relatively new BlackBerry Q10.
Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, made the following statement on the suit:
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,
The Typo Keyboard case for iPhone is an iPhone 5 and 5S case that adds a BlackBerry-like keyboard to the iPhone. The keyboard is reportedly high quality and connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth. The keyboard also features a nifty backlight for typing in the dark. The case is set to debut next week at CES 2014 for $99.
Personally, I believe BlackBerry is in the right to sue Typo for infringing on its design. At least to my eye, when an iPhone is inserted into the Typo Case, it looks almost identical to a BlackBerry Q10. And with BlackBerry being so strapped for cash right now, this is a perfect way for them to gain a few bucks.