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Typo fights back, says BlackBerry has no sales that it could impact with its product

Typo fights back, says BlackBerry has no sales that it could impact with its product
Now that BlackBerry and Typo will be seeing each other in court, Typo has some unflattering words to say about the beleaguered Canadian manufacturer. Typo, which developed a snap-on QWERTY keyboard for the Apple iPhone, is being sued by BlackBerry because of the accessory's stunning resemblance to the keyboard on the Blackberry Q10. Typo responded with a 26 page argument explaining why the product should not be blocked from sale by the injunction that BlackBerry is requesting.

Typo's filing lands a punch to BlackBerry's solar plexus. It states that BlackBerry's patent claims are invalid, and even if they were valid, the company won't suffer any serious harm because there are no sales to be affected by Typo. Ouch! Looks like Typo's legal team read our story detailing how the Canadian manufacturer had a 0% market share in the U.S. smartphone market during the fourth quarter, according to at least one research firm. 

Inside the 26 pages, Typo states that BlackBerry is seeking a monopoly on keyboards for any device. The filing pointed out that QWERTYs with a similar layout as the one being claimed by BlackBerry as its design, have been around since the 1980s. Typo adds that its product is available from its website, costs $99, and is made for the iPhone. BlackBerry phones are sold from the BlackBerry website, cost $549 and require a carrier. "No consumer will be confused," said Typo.

"No one looking to buy a BlackBerry phone, because of an alleged ‘resemblance,’ would buy a case with a physical keyboard instead. Typo keyboards are sold on Typo’s website, cost $99.00, and are for people who already own an iPhone. BlackBerry phones are sold on its own website, cost $549.00, and require activation from a cell phone carrier. No consumer will be confused."-Typo

Typo also revealed that it spent $1.4 million developing the product, and has sold 4000 of them thus far at $99 a pop. The company has the ability to produce as many as 10,000 units a month.

To win an injunction against Typo, BlackBerry has to prove to the court that it could win the case, that it suffered "irreparable injury" that outweighs the damage Typo would suffer from an injunction, and that banning the product would be in the public interest. Typo, of course, argues that BlackBerry fails to meet any of these conditions.

BlackBerry Q10 (L) and an Apple iPhone wearing the Typo keyboard

BlackBerry Q10 (L) and an Apple iPhone wearing the Typo keyboard


source: PCWorld via Crackberry

31 Comments
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posted on 06 Feb 2014, 20:44 16

1. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1378; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


So it's OK to appropriate someone else's designs as long as their products aren't selling? OK Gotcha. That's like saying it's not theft if no one notices it's missing.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 23:08 2

14. Pancholo (Posts: 377; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


What freaking hell? I agree with you over 9000 times.

Whatever happened to licencing fees? Why should they be awarded and avoid a spanking for blatantly copying BB's iconic keyboard design - layout of keys and even the ergonomic shapes? Oh, the ways of the law... To me, it still looks like bullying at the end of the day. Bad thing is, Typo might actually win this bullcrap.

Damn it, this is why I sometimes consider myself a misanthrope.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 00:31

17. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5751; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Meh. There is one threshold that BlackBerry may not have met in their suit - materiality. A while ago, damages sustained had to be at least $50,000 to be able to file a civil action in U.S. District Court. I don't know what the current threshold is, but it is more than $50,000. Typo stated their total sales of 4,000 keyboard cases to show that BlackBerry has not met the materiality threshold.

Don't be surprised if the case gets dismissed without prejudice. Judges take a dim view of civil cases being filed as nuissance efforts.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 03:24

18. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1378; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


There's our court system at work. It's ok to steal if you make less than a certain amount.

With all the demand they're saying that these keyboards are supposed to have, I would imagine they'd break the mark anyway. But either way, it doesn't say a lot when we put a minimum figure on theft.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 15:59

24. downphoenix (Posts: 2317; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


I hope that if Blackberry loses this case, this will at least invalidate all of Apple's cosmetic rounded corners patent BS in the process, only way that I would agree with that outcome.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 20:44 4

2. alltechinside (Posts: 239; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)


*apply cold water to burned area*

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 20:45 6

3. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5478; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"Typo fights back, says BlackBerry has no sales that it could impact with its product"

LOL! Sounds like a trolling, but it is so true. :D

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 21:36 2

12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8282; Member since: 14 May 2012)


This has got to be the funniest thing I've read all day!

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 20:46 5

4. XperiaOptimusOne (unregistered)


Just pay the God damn licensing fee!

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 20:47 5

5. GeekMovement (Posts: 1501; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Not convinced. Still looks exactly like the one on the BBQ10 to the tiny details.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 20:51 3

6. fzacek (Posts: 1641; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Blackberry should seriously go die in a hole already...

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 21:17 10

8. DigitalJedi_X2 (banned) (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)


You first.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 22:35 1

13. thealphageek1 (banned) (Posts: 942; Member since: 02 Feb 2013)


@fzacek-- vacate the premises, troll. Your comment is not welcome.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 21:07 4

7. lorenzattractor (Posts: 64; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


Doesn't matter what argument they use, it still doesn't justify the fact that they're making money by using Blackberry's design.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 21:24 1

10. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Exactly. They still own that design, and it is a very unique design, so it's not even like they could claim no knowledge. I notice the i$h33p are already out defending this theft of a true design, but a rectangle with a button on the fact is off limits.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 21:22 2

9. bibekpachhai (unregistered)


Even if BlackBerry doesn't sell well you stole how their products looks like! Just pay BlackBerry already! However, BlackBerry should apply some cpld water for that burn!

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 21:32 1

11. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


It's not a burn. They weren't saying that BB doesn't sell anything. They were saying that they don't "compete" with anything BB sales. Which is completely false. This is an iPhone attachment, and as such it *could* drive iPhone sales. So if it did, that would put them in direct competition with BB. Not that any of this is even a good defense anyway.

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 23:32

15. sipha (Posts: 265; Member since: 12 May 2012)


Heh, the Q10 stil cost $550 in the USA?? In South africa the price is around $320 now..

posted on 06 Feb 2014, 23:51 1

16. PBXtech (Posts: 977; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


I'm with BB on this one, the resemblance is painfully obvious. Not only that, but the "irreparable injury" is just legal BS to justify a blatant theft.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 06:51

19. joey_sfb (Posts: 2906; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I don't understand design patent. why only sue typo for a QWTY Keyboard. If they come in white will it still violate BB the patent?

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 08:42

20. PBXtech (Posts: 977; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Interesting question. I'm no expert myself but I would lean towards yes, mainly because of the design and configuration, not so much as the color.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 19:13

27. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


It's not about the QWTY keyboard. It's about the design and layout of the keys. Look at any slide out keyboard by Samsung, HTC, and Moto. They are all wildly different. Even though they still retain the qwty design. If you look at the keyboard itself, it is identical to a BB keyboard. That's the point.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 19:15

29. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


A design patent would transcend color. It has nothing to do with color.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 19:50

30. joey_sfb (Posts: 2906; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


l am not a big fan of the patent system. Imagine if we have such comprehensive patent back in the 70's.when Coke patented cola and soft drink?

Apple patented the four wheels? what would the world look like now?

posted on 08 Feb 2014, 10:20

31. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


This isn't "four wheels". Or a generic soft drink. There is more design here than the BS patent that was granted to apple in their "rectangle with a button". I'm telling you, go back and look at the various qwerty's outside of BB's. It's the difference between coke and pepsi. Think about it like a car, sure there are many similarities, but on the outside they all look different. Dont create something too similar and expect to get away with it.

Avanti did this to GM's hummer, and they sued.
http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2003/02/17/155285.html

I'm all for competition, and frankly I think that design patents are mostly stupid, but don't make something identical like Typo did. Typo should either license, or go back to the drawing board.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 08:59

21. tokuzumi (Posts: 275; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


I think typo is right. BB will not be able to meet all the requirements of the injunction case. While the keyboards look eerily similar, no one is going to see this keyboard on an iPhone and ask "is that a blackberry?" Blackberries and the typo keyboard are marketed to two completely different markets.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 10:32 1

22. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1378; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


There are still people who look at any touchscreen phone and ask if it's an iPhone. You're giving people way too much credit. As far as the market, both are targeted at people who are more comfortable typing on a physical keyboard, and those who probably came to the iPhone from a Blackberry. Ryan Seacrest is one of the guys behind this, and I'd bet money he had a BB before his iPhone.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 19:09

26. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Actually, he said that the reason for it's creation was because he didn't want to carry around two phones anymore. And one of those was a BB. So only the people with an iphone would say this doesn't cause direct head to head competition between someone choosing between a BB and an iPhone. It's just idiotic to state anything else.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 19:14

28. 14545 (Posts: 1106; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


A design patent would transcend color. It has nothing to do with color.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 13:30

23. terabyteRouser (Posts: 419; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


eh... it's worth a shot

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 17:18

25. rob5150 (Posts: 115; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


So, if a Hollywood movie fails at box office. Like only 2 people saw it. And one of those people make a copy of it.... That's OK? Or do they get arrested, fined and imprisoned?

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