BlackBerry won a key victory yesterday in its fight against Typo. A federal judge agreed with the Canadian company that the iPhone keyboard case likely infringes on their patents, and issued a preliminary injunction late Friday to halt sales.
For those that missed it, back in January BlackBerry sued the makers of the Typo iPhone case over patent infringement. The case features a built-in battery, and a physical, backlit keyboard that looks nearly identical to those used in BB devices…
Here’s an excerpt from the initial press release:
“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,” said Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.”
And here was the response from the Typo team:
“We are aware of the lawsuit that Blackberry filed today [Friday] against Typo Products. 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.”
In a statement provided to Reuters, Typo seemed unfazed by yesterday’s ruling, saying it plans to file an appeal and will continue to “make and sell innovative products that busy people can’t live without.” Just maybe not this particular product.
First introduced in December of last year, the Typo case is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Laurence Hallier and popular media personality Ryan Seacrest. Initial consumer feedback was positive and the initial pre-order run sold out quickly.