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Blackberry Defeats Typo In Court, Typo To Discontinue Sales of Keyboard 67

New submitter juniorkindergarten writes: Blackberry and Typo have reached a final settlement that effectively ends Typo selling its iPhone keyboard accessory. Blackberry took Typo to court for twice for patent infringement over the copying of Blackberry's keyboard design. Blackberry and Typo first battled it out in court, with Typo losing for copying the Blackberry Q10 keyboard design. Typo redesigned its keyboard, and again Blackberry sued them for patent infringement. The final result is that Typo cannot sell keyboards for screens less than 7.9", but can still sell keyboards for the iPad and iPad air. Exact terms were not disclosed.
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Blackberry Defeats Typo In Court, Typo To Discontinue Sales of Keyboard

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02, 2015 @09:40AM (#49822061)

    C'mon editors!

  • No they didn't (Score:5, Informative)

    by drhamad ( 868567 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2015 @09:43AM (#49822083)
    They reached a settlement agreement. BB did not defeat Typo "in court."
  • Typo? (Score:4, Funny)

    by thedonger ( 1317951 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2015 @09:48AM (#49822119)

    I really wanted the article title to read "Blackberry Defeats Typo In Court, Typo To Discontinue Sales of Keeboard"

  • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2015 @09:53AM (#49822159)
    So, BB has the patent on little keyboards? Who patented little buttons?
    • From TFA, it is a design patent - aka Trade Dress.

      From [] , the actual complain seems with merit. The frets (metal lines), key shape (rounded corners) and space bar seem to be pulled entirely from the Blackberry Q10. It's as blatant as the typical Chinese typo-based (Sony vs Somy) ripoffs.

      If you saw a phone with a the Typo keyboard, it would be reasonable to assume that its an extra tall Q10. That's what Blackberry has sued about.

      • No one would assume it's a tall Q10 because no one has ever seen a Q10 in the wild, and no one is that familiar with Blackberry anymore to be able to spot a keyboard that looks like their product. People would just assume it's some new phone or phone accessory. They might say it's like Blackberry to have a stationary keyboard, but the comparison would end there.
    • So, BB has the patent on little keyboards?

      I don't think so, probably a design patent on their particular design.

      Who patented little buttons?

      Nobody, there are various keyboard cases for touchscreen smartphones that don't have patent issues.

  • How does making a miniature versions of the QWERTY keyboard make Blackberry the inverter of the QWERTY keyboard?
    • Because they bought a Patent and had better Lawyers than Typo
    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday June 02, 2015 @10:25AM (#49822405) Homepage

      This page [] gives the best side by side comparison I can find.

      it's got a picture of one of the BBs, the patent they filed, and the Typo keyboard.

      The '964 patent, entitled "HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC DEVICE WITH A KEYBOARD OPTIMIZED FOR USE WITH THE THUMBS", was granted on December 8, 2009, and among its multiple independent claims, of particular note is independent claim 19 which claims "[a] keyboard for use with a mobile communication device". Claim 19 includes the limitations of "twenty-six letter keys and at least one other key" distributed in three rows, that are symmetrically distributed along the face of the electronic device. Furthermore, claim 19 includes the limitation of:
      "five letter keys in the upper row being disposed on each side of the vertical reference, five letter keys in the middle row being disposed on one side of the vertical reference and four letter keys in the middle row being disposed on the other side of the vertical reference, and four letter keys in the lower row being disposed on the one side of the vertical reference line and three letter keys in the lower row being disposed on the other side of the vertical reference line..."

      So, the extent to which the keys skew away from being flat for ergonomic reasons seems to be enumerated in the patent.

      Now, as to the validity of the patent, I can't say.

      But I will agree that specific design details for ergonomics are pretty much exactly copied in the Typo .. so if they said "give me a keyboard just like the BlackBerry", I can see why they'd have settled.

      But there are specific things and details in there. And it's at least slightly more specific than a small, black QWERTY keyboard. Down to quite specific curvatures.

      • Note that while there are three patents discussed, the D'775 patent is the most heavily referenced. Design patents have a much lower bar to entry, as they act more like trademarks than patents. It's the same thing as Apple's "rounded corners" patent, D'286.

        The idea is that the form (rather than the function) is so iconic that it represents a singular entity instead of being a market standard.

        But IANAL.

        • Ignoring how we feel about patents ... this patent exists, the link I gave was the first one I saw which explained the way in which they were similar, and that those similarities are quite prominent on things you wouldn't do by random.

          This is more than just "someone else made a keyboard".

          And if you 100% copy someone else's design, I can see why they'd be unhappy about it.

          Now that I've read through that, I can see BB had some pretty valid points. And if you could make things which looked exactly like someo

    • Typo actually made an effort to defeat the patent in court, but what seems telling is that they weren't attempting to redesign their product to avoid the patents.

      It doesn't seem likely that BB has enough patents to remove all keyboarded phones from the market. There have been too many released by other vendors which weren't challenged.

      I wonder if Typo just figured that:

      * The vast majority of smartphone owners at this point in time have adapted to the idea of touchscreen keyboards, shrinking the potential m

  • The summary is full of Typos!
  • When their biggest revenue stream is patent infringement cases.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      When their biggest revenue stream is patent infringement cases.

      Their biggest revenue stream by far is QNX. They OWN the medical device segment, and there's a 60% chance that any new car you buy today is going to be powered by a BlackBerry real time OS, with an Android or Apple virtual machine running the in-dash infotainment system.

  • Yes the idea that a mini physical keyboard on a phone device could be patented is ridiculous. But you can rest easy knowing that Blackberry is in its death throws anyway. Unfortunately that means its patents will be soon up for sale and will be bought up by other greedy companies who will continue to "leverage" them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stongef ( 1149711 )
      Have you seen the Blackberry Passport? It has more business-oriented innovation per square inch than any Apple product I have seen. This is the first time I am considering buying a product from them. I always hated their closed platform, but they responded by making Android apps work on their phones. I have seen their "little keyboard" in action, and it is impressive. It does make you type a lot faster. Someone obviously sat down and engineered this correctly. I would not call them dead yet, they always m
  • Since they did such a great job of self-immolation.
  • I'm going to patent air, and sue every mother fucker on Earth
  • I have bought devices in the past because they have had a physical keyboard, but I don't buy devices because their corners are rounded a certain way.
  • I thought Apple just lost out that you can't patent the basic shape of the phone?! Yet in this case Typo can't copy the look of a keyboard?

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes