The Typo keyboard, which combines a protective case with a Bluetooth-connected QWERTY keyboard for iPhone devices, is being threatened by legal action from BlackBerry.
US TV personality Ryan Seacrest and entrepreneur Laurence Hallier founded Typo Products last year after almost two years of product development. Their first Typo keyboard case, designed for the iPhone 5 and 5S, is due to start shipping this month. It’s priced at $99.
However, BlackBerry says it has filed a lawsuit against Typo Products, alleging that Typo has copied BlackBerry’s keyboard and its patented designs.
Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, said “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.”
Typo responded with a statement that said “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.”