Blackberry launches legal case against Ryan Seacrest’s Typo case ahead of its CES launch

by Andrew Roach on January 7, 2014

Every January, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) lets the world see many of the most exciting and innovative products that will take the world by storm over the next 12 months.

One device expected to make its debut is the Typo iPhone case however the creators have landed themselves in hot water with Blackberry over the look and the design of their physical keyboard.

The Waterloo based firm have actually launched a legal case against Typo claiming that the keyboard is a direct rip-off the design that turned Blackberry into a household name at the start of the century.

The Typo iPhone Case is an accessory that gives iPhone users the option of using a physical keypad to input characters and was co-founded by American TV star Ryan Seacrest.

Having seen the product, Blackberry has certainly moved quickly to protect one of their most iconic and well-known trademarks believing that Typo was trying to capitalise on Blackberry’s design.

The notice, filed in California, went on to elaborate that the iPhone case was potentially able to deceive consumers and “likely to continue to cause confusion, mistake and deception as to the source of origin of (its) products.”

Blackberry is clearly incensed by the new product and is seeking compensation for the supposed infringements including penalty fees, all of Typo’s profits and an injunction banning the sale of the device.

When asked about their move, Blackberry’s legal team were quite clear on their intentions as they look to protect most of their assets. This was highlighted in comments made by their chief legal officer Steve Zipperstein who was quoted in a press statement declaring: “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.”

Typo has yet to react publicly to Blackberry’s legal case but it will certainly be an unwelcomed distraction for the product which had aimed to give iPhone users an accessory that can help them type and send messages/e-mails on their phones.

The idea behind the product, founded by Seacrest and advertising mogul Laurence Hallier, was to try and cut down on the needs to have two phone’s with the company website stating they were fed up of having “one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else.”

There’s no doubt that Typo will still go ahead with the CES launch this week especially with a name such as Ryan Seacrest associated with the product but the smartphone accessory maker will need to prepare themselves for what will be most likely be a bitter and long legal battle with Blackberry over the infringement allegations.

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