Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
The Courts Blackberry

BlackBerry Sues iPhone Keyboard Maker Typo 226

judgecorp writes "Typo Products, which makes a physical keyboard for the iPhone 5 and 5S is being sued by BlackBerry. The firm — co-founded by media personality Ryan Seacrest — provides an iPhone case which includes a physical keyboard, whose keys are sculpted very like those of a classic BlackBerry phone. '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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

BlackBerry Sues iPhone Keyboard Maker Typo

Comments Filter:
  • Obviousness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mbstone ( 457308 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @12:13PM (#45878543)

    They shamelessly copied the look of the BlackBerry keyboard. So what. The design of a QWERTY keyboard isn't an original work of authorship, nor is it nonobvious, nor are QWERTY keyboards associated with BB in the minds of members of the public.. No copyright, no patent, no trademark.

    Case dismissed.

    BB should buy the thing if it has any money left.

  • by ckhorne ( 940312 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @12:14PM (#45878563)

    Blackberry is dying. If their only move is to sue people trying to imitate their "exceptional typing experience," then the death knell isn't far away...

  • by multisync ( 218450 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @12:18PM (#45878613) Journal


    Apparently he's a celebrity. Wikipedia says he's a radio personality and hosts a show called American Idol.

    I had to look it up too.

  • by guytoronto ( 956941 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @12:21PM (#45878637)
    Who says it's their only move? Apple sues others trying to imitate the "Apple experience. Is Apply dying?
  • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @12:22PM (#45878645)

    I used to be like that as well (although never liked the BlackBerry keyboards). Swype on Android changed my mind in a big way.

  • Patent? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ciurana ( 2603 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @12:26PM (#45878683) Homepage Journal

    The article doesn't clarify if BlackBerry patented the keyboard layout and set up, and whether the patent is still in effect.

    If so, they are well within their rights to enforce it. Typo Products can probably work out a deal with them, et tutti contenti.

    If the patent has expired, or if it was never granted/never filed... suck it, BlackBerry. You should know better.


  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @12:53PM (#45878987)
    the keyboard they copied isn't the crappy one from the curve, which is a pretty standard smartphone keyboard, and was nothing special to type on... They copied the keyboard from the "Bold" which was the best "narrow" keyboard ever made for a device. The "Typo" is very clearly an EXACT copy of the bold keyboard, right down to the metal trim, color, genius button shape (keys gently raised on one side so you can use keys that are smaller than your fingers, but still have the keys touching).

    They keyboard IS something special, and IS subject to a patent. Is blackberry going to rise from the dead? no. Are they entitled to control the use of their design? I think so. The Typo is clearly a "distinctly blackberry keyboard for your iphone" which isn't really "fair"
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @01:11PM (#45879193) Homepage
    Yeah, recently used my mother-in-law's phone over the holidays, and I have to say that I abhor the Apple keyboard. The keys always show upper case letters, which comping from somebody who's used to Android, I found this quite annoying. The only difference between "shift" being pressed is whether or not the arrow is filled in, and I can't tell you if filled in arrow means that the shift key is on or off.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2014 @01:27PM (#45879395)

    Yeah... For me it was the same with sex. After 30 seconds, I didn't have an orgasm, so I just gave up on sex.

    More seriously, you are an idiot.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @01:56PM (#45879723)

    Well for ages, Blackberry owners were raving about the quality of their keyboards, on how easy it was to type on such a small keyboard. Blackberry spent a lot of money and R&D to come up with that style, which also meant a lot of engineers got paid to do such work. Now just because blackberry is unfashionable it doesn't mean that a third party company and just go and steal their ideas. especially after Blackberry put the patent on it.
    I know slashdotters have I HATE PATTENTS mind set. But this isn't a software patent which is covered by Copyright law and Patent law, this is a hardware patent, of a physical invention. Where blackberry deserves credit for their design.

  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @02:07PM (#45879825)

    this is a hardware patent, of a physical invention. Where blackberry deserves credit for their design

    I would say that you are prejudging. The extent to which the look and feel of a keyboard can be protected by patent must be established by the courts. By the way, note: six keys on the bottom versus four.

  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Monday January 06, 2014 @03:15PM (#45880561)

    Spending a bunch of money on R&D does not magically make something non-obvious. I'm not saying a court will necessarily determine that Blackberry's "invention" was obvious (because this seems to happen pretty rarely), but I am saying that I think that the concept is obvious, even if the specific implementation is not.

    Yes I think it's important to do research to figure out how big the keys on a keyboard of size X need to be. I also think it's important that a hammer has a handle of the right diameter. If Stanley spends $1 million to determine the perfect handle diameter for a hammer, I still don't think it makes sense to allow Stanley to have a patent for hammers with handles of that diameter.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents