It's not a Typo; BlackBerry sues Seacrest funded QWERTY for the Apple iPhone

It's not a Typo; BlackBerry sues Seacrest funded QWERTY for the Apple iPhone
Early last month, we showed you a snap-on physical QWERTY keyboard for the Apple iPhone called Typo. Almost immediately, our sharp-eyed readers pointed out that the keyboard itself looked just like the QWERTY on the BlackBerry Q10. Well, BlackBerry must think so too as the company on Friday filed a suit against Typo, alleging that the company "blatantly copied" BlackBerry.

The product is actually the brainchild of radio and television personality Ryan Seacrest. He came up with the idea while carrying around two phones at all times. One handset, with a physical keyboard, is used for emails and messaging, while the other is an Apple iPhone. Typo has been taking $99 pre-orders for the product, and is scheduled to appear at next week's CES. The keyboard carries a lithium battery so the keys can be backlit. Typo claims that the QWERTY can improve the speed of your typing by 50% on the iPhone.


BlackBerry might actually be able to capitalize on the situation. In a press release, BlackBerry General Counsel Steve Zipperstein said that while BlackBerry was flattered that Typo used its keyboard design, the company "will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation." That comment seems to leave the door open for a licensing or royalty deal to be worked out.


source: BlackBerry via AppleInsider

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41 Comments

1. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

alas, only if RIM blackberry thought of it first... lol no debate here, this is clearly a copy and they will probably end up paying RIM royalties.

5. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

That keyboard looks exactly like BB keyboard, so Blackberry does the right thing.

9. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

It's call two different dads.

18. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Unless there is a design patent for the keyboard, BB is SOL.

35. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

The BB keyboard has been patented for over a decade, IIRC

36. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Patent may be coming up for expiration. Not much in royalties due on a soon-to-expire patent.

31. Daftama

Posts: 641; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Please sues for billions babaBILLIONS

34. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Ryan Seacrest is a douche, only second to Joe Rogan.

41. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Why would someone want to copy something so ugly anywaysâť”.. I know it's about function, but man it looks old.

2. Sauce unregistered

I doubt I'd be able to type 50% faster with this physical add-on, my fingers are like sausages. Anyway, looks like a nice product that a lot of people would love. Best of luck to BB winning the case against Typo.

3. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Anouther dumb lawsuit!!! Rim just wants attention/Press. This attachment will probably make the iphone really top heavy and uncomfortable to type on if used with 2 hands like blackberries are. anyways.

4. tsuperman

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 29, 2013

This is an all time low for BB. All typo has to do is change its color & maybe a minor design change & their good. BB is dying anyway.

24. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Somehow, I suspect Typos founders had attorneys vet the concept for exposure before they dropped their own coin into the venture. What is BB going to patent? The concept of a keyboard attached to a mobile device? This isn't even attached. The keyboard uses bluetooth to communicate with the iToy. The number of keys on the keyboard? Puhleease. Notwithstanding the protestations of BB's legal beagle, I just don't see this getting traction.

6. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

damn blackberry desperate aren't we

10. HASHTAG unregistered

I would agree, but that does look like a Blackberry keyboard. So, they pretty much have the right to sue. Though I don't really see who would buy this attachment.

25. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Under what theory does BB have a right to sue? A remote connection using Bluetooth? The Typos keyboard looks similar to BBs keyboard (but not exactly the same), but absent a valid patent, what 'right' of BB is being infringed?

32. Kaiser2007

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 16, 2013

My moto MB502 have qwerty keyboard. It's similar to BB's but keys layout are different. Mine has Arrow Keys. BB don't have Arrow Keys, at least I can't see it on the picture.

7. kindlefireowner

Posts: 504; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

This is a garbage lawsuit. Nextel use to sell a clip on qwerty keyboard that I used on my iden phones. So this is not a new product.

8. rawbow

Posts: 428; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

not about the product's use, it's about how it looks

26. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Absent a valid design patent, litigating over look and feel is going to be a biiiig stretch.

11. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

I KNEW IT !!!!!!!!

12. alextheZowner

Posts: 33; Member since: Jan 01, 2014

Go ahead do it BlackBerry we need all the money we can find. Hahaha

13. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Weird. A lot of things look the same like TV, refrigerator, toaster, shoe. Bluetooth keyboard cover for tablets. Why pick on him?

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

There's a difference between similar and exactly the same. And there are many generic keyboard designs, but I've never seen that style on anything but a BB product.

27. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The Typos keyboard is not exactly the same. More keys. Different functions (home button is one). Same = same. As in the same number of keys. Same number of functions. Same attachment. And, and, and. Similar does not equal same.

39. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Like I said in a previous post, only show the keys and tell me if you can tell which is BB's and which is Typo's. There's a closer resemblance between these keyboards than there was between the Galaxy S and the iPhone. This has nothing to do with patents or how it works, but the design of it. Someone else said that they had a Moto with a keyboard that looks similar, but they may have come to an agreement with BB to use the design, or BB may have threatened legal action and then they came to an agreement. But either way if you're saying this has no merit, then you might as well get rid of design trademarks all together. There is no doubt that if someone had this on their iPhone, someone else would wonder how they got a BB keyboard for it.

14. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

As anyone here knows I hate lawsuits, but in this case we're not talking about a similar shape or idea. Look at the BB keyboard, and the one by Typo, and if they only showed the keyboard, could anyone tell the difference? Even the physical shape of the keys is identical. Changing the color wouldn't change that. The only way they could really make it work would be to use flat or even rounded keys. The key shape used by BB is synonymous with their design. Even the older pre-iPhone smart phones by other companies didn't use that key shape. Another thing why this lawsuit seems legit to me is they are using the process how it was intended to be used. First, the keyboard is a direct copy. They could've used many different keyboard designs, because every keyboard doesn't look like the one on BB's phones. Second, they are asking to be compensated to use the design, not trying to get the product banned. The laws are meant to protect brand image from a direct copy, not something similar because that would give company A a monopoly. I'm sure Seacrest's keyboard phone is a BB, & he thought it just made sense to use that for a design, but someone should've advised him and his business partners to either work out a deal with BB or use a different design.

16. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

same here, usually think all these lawsuits are petty but in this case it looks exactly the same.

28. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Unless BB has a valid design patent, the similar dog won't hunt. The keyboard is not a direct copy. Very close, I will grant you, but not a direct copy.

30. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

I'm guessing they must as they can't claim they invented physical qwerty keyboard on a movie device. It's imo 99% identical from the silver strips to the pretty much identical button slants, curves etc. I think literally the 2 differences are that they added a backlight button on the bottom left and a home button on the bottom right and other than that's it's like same.

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