Feeds

BlackBerry sucker-punches TV star Ryan Seacrest in patent brawl

American Idol's Typo slapped with sales ban in keyboard spat

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Troubled mobe maker BlackBerry has received a welcome bit of good news from a California court, which has blocked sales of a physical iPhone add-on keyboard the company says copies its hardware.

A Northern California District Court judge on Monday granted an injunction that prevents the sale and import of Typo keyboards for Apple iThings.

BlackBerry alleged that the Typo keyboards, which fit over the back and bottom portions of the iPhone and add a physical keyboard to the otherwise touchscreen Apple device, infringe BlackBerry's protected designs for its own QWERTY keyboard phones. Typo has become less known for its actual products and more known for its co-founder: American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

The Company Formerly Known As RIM was quick to file suit against Typo on claims of patent infringement and what the BB OS 10 maker says is a "blatant" copy of its hardware. Typo has countered that BlackBerry's claims of infringement are invalid and unenforceable.

In an opinion [PDF] issued by Judge William Orrick, BlackBerry offered enough evidence of infringement to warrant a preliminary injunction while the main lawsuit rumbles on. Under the terms of the ruling, Typo must refrain from "making, using, offering to sell, or selling" its products and brand in the US. Similarly, the injunction blocks the company from marketing the products.

"Typo’s keyboard directly targets the segment of smartphone users that prefer a physical keyboard, the market in which BlackBerry competes," Judge Orrick wrote.

"Indeed, Typo’s founder has openly explained that the catalyst for the Typo keyboard was the realization that many people carry two phones, one for typing and correspondence (the features that drive demand and goodwill for the BlackBerry) and an iPhone for everything else."

Typo did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

BlackBerry has, for the most part, steered clear of the patent infighting which has gripped much of the mobile sector. While rivals such as Apple and Samsung continue to bicker over allegations of infringement, BlackBerry has stayed out of the fray.

A lack of legal woes is about the only thing BlackBerry has going for it these days. The company's revenue dropped below $1bn in its last fiscal quarter as financial losses continue to mount and what was once a stranglehold over the smartphone sector has turned into a minuscule share of the overall market. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.