BlackBerry going after Ryan Seacrest’s ‘Typo’ keyboard for patent infringement

typo 1

Last month, we told you about an interesting new accessory coming out this year for the iPhone called the ‘Typo.’ It’s a case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard that bills itself as the perfect solution for the folks who still carry both an iPhone and a BlackBerry.

Well, as you can imagine, this hasn’t sat well with BlackBerry. And today the Canadian handset-maker announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Typo, co-founded by TV personality Ryan Seacrest, for “blatantly” copying its iconic QWERTY keyboard design…

From the 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.”

The company didn’t specify whether or not its legal team had been in contact with Typo before filing the complaint last Friday, but the language in the press release suggests it is open to a settlement. “But we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation.”

blackberry vs typo

Typo, for those that missed the original announcement, is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Laurence Hallier and Ryan Seacrest, who had both grown tired of constantly carrying 2 devices. The keyboard case slips on over an iPhone 5 or 5s and connects via Bluetooth.

The accessory was slated to become available for pre-order this month, with a price tag of $99. But obviously, this move by BlackBerry could delay the Typo’s launch either temporarily or possibly indefinitely. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

What do you think, does BlackBerry have a case here?