Blackberry (NASDAQ: BBRY) has always been iconic for the keyboard on its products. The much adored keyboard is both versatile and efficient for businessmen and everyday consumers. Just a few months ago, Blackberry was on the verge of being broken apart, and many other companies were looking into buying the patent for its keyboard.
Typo, a startup company, has “created” a phone case for the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5/5s which essentially gives consumers the ability to have the luxury of an iPhone and the typing capability many loved from the Blackberry. The product debuted at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) this year. The company has been backed by radio personality, television host, and producer, Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest both co-founded and invested $1 million into the company and plans to invest another $5 million in the future.
So what is the problem?
Typo gives the consumer the ability to have the Blackberry keyboard on the iPhone device, but the problem is that it is practically an exact replica. The design of the Typo keyboard strongly resembles Blackberry’s iconic keyboard, from the round corners to the slope corner design and even the bar frets between the rows of the keyboard. Blackberry has filed a lawsuit against Typo for “blatant copying and infringement” of their intellectual property.
“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,” Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, said in a statement today.