BlackBerry says it will suffer irreparable harm if Typo's QWERTY is allowed to be sold

BlackBerry says it will suffer irreparable harm if Typo is allowed to be sold
On Friday, BlackBerry and Typo met in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. As you probably recall, Typo is the brainchild of broadcaster Ryan Seacrest. After lugging around two phones all the time, a BlackBerry for typing and messaging and an Apple iPhone for everything else, Seacrest had a brainstorm. He founded Typo, which sells a physical QWERTY keyboard that snaps together to fit over an Apple iPhone. Typo claims that its product helps iPhone users type as much as 50% faster.

The problem is that the keys on Typo strongly resemble the QWERTY keyboard on the BlackBerry Q10. This led to BlackBerry's suit against Typo. And with U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick validating two of the three patents that BlackBerry is asserting in the suit, it seems that the Waterloo based handset manufacturer might be off to a good start. After all, Typo is claiming that BlackBerry's patents are invalid.

BlackBerry attorney Kevin Johnson told the court that Typo's copying of BlackBerry's design was "intentional and deliberate." Another BlackBerry attorney, James Asperger, said that his client will suffer irreparable harm if Typo is allowed to continue selling its keyboard. Asperger said that BlackBerry has invested billions to develop its keyboard and has lost sales as consumers buy the $99 Typo instead of a BlackBerry Q10. So far, Typo has been a hit with sales of 4000 units.

Typo attorney Olivier Taillieu responded by saying that BlackBerry wants to monopolize the QWERTY keyboard market and added that many other phones have the same design that BlackBerry says that it owns. Taillieu also said that "BlackBerry’s problems are not related to Typo. We don’t believe Typo is the reason for any loss of sales to BlackBerry." The attorney told the judge that BlackBerry has not shown evidence that sales of its phones are driven by the QWERTY keyboard.

BlackBerry is seeking an injunction to block Typo from selling its keyboard and Judge Orrick said that he will rule on the request "promptly".

source: Bloomberg

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