Blackberry Sues Ryan Seacrest’s Tech Startup

Ryan Seacrest is a man with his fingers in many pies, and one of which is a phone accessory startup called Typo. The primary launch product of Typo is an accessory phone case that extends the iPhone to include a tactile keyboard on the bottom.

Many sites that reviewed the product made the observation that the device makes your iPhone look like a Blackberry. I don’t disagree with that observation, and it seems Blackberry itself also thinks its just like their keyboard.

So they are suing. Mashable reports Blackberry’s response:typo2

“This is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design,” Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s general counsel and chief legal officer, said in a statement on Friday. “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.”

Frankly I don’t see how these lawsuits expect to pan out. There is no way to add a tactile keyboard to an iPhone that DOESN’T at least somewhat resemble that of a Blackberry. Also, if they want to rock the boat, Apple could go after Blackberry for their latest BB10 interface which uses tiled icons in a way that is VERY similar to the iOS7 (and previous) layouts. Their Z10 phone has a strong resemblance to the iPhone complete with an on screen keyboard not unlike Apple (or Google’s Android for that matter)

Sometimes I wonder how many of these lawsuits are purely in place to garner attention to their product. To steal a little bit of the spotlight of a new release to bring focus back on theirs.

What do you think? Similar enough for a lawsuit?

Author: Rodney

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