BlackBerry Secures Sales Ban on Typo Keyboard for iPhone



Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone users who are fans of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)-style keyboards will have to stick to tapping out their email messages on a touchscreen in the foreseeable future, thanks to a recent court ruling. According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge William Orrick of San Francisco recently granted BlackBerry a preliminary injunction that blocks the sale of the Typo iPhone keyboard case. In his ruling, Judge Orrick noted that BlackBerry had successfully established a “likelihood” that it could prove that the device infringed on its patents. The judge also noted that Typo had failed to prove that it was not infringing on the Canadian smartphone maker’s patents.

“BlackBerry is pleased that its motion for a preliminary injunction against Typo Products LLC was granted,” a BlackBerry spokesperson told Reuters. “This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBerry from Typo’s blatant theft of our patented keyboard technology.”

On the other hand, Typo expressed disappointment with the ruling and noted that it was planning to appeal the decision. “Typo will continue to make and sell innovative products that busy people can’t live without,” said Typo in a statement via Reuters.

The $99 Bluetooth-connected iPhone accessory allows users to use a tactile keyboard that is similar to BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard design. According to Typo Products’ website, the Typo keyboard was “born out of a desire for efficiency” when the founders of the company realized that many of their friends used smartphones with physical keyboards for typing and the iPhone for “virtually everything else.” One of the company’s co-founders is television personality and producer Ryan Seacrest.

The device works with Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, although it should be noted that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is not accessible when iPhone 5S is outfitted with the Typo keyboard. However, the Typo keyboard appears to be a popular iPhone accessory and it has received positive reviews from several prominent tech websites. According to the Typo website, the device “adds just short of a 1/4 inch in thickness and a less than 3/4 inch in total length to the iPhone.”

Despite the injunction, it appears that the Typo keyboard website is still offering the device. As noted by Reuters, the case number for BlackBerry’s patent-infringement complaint is 14-cv-00023-WHO in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

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