BlackBerry wins ruling against iPhone keyboard

March 31, 2014
In this Monday, Sept. 21, 2009, file photo, a BlackBerry Bold, left, and Tour, right are photographed in Mountain View, Calif., Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has won an early round in its legal battle against an iPhone keyboard made by a startup co-founded by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has won an early round in its legal battle against an iPhone keyboard made by a startup co-founded by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.

A court order bans Seacrest's company, Typo Products LLC, from selling its iPhone keyboard in the U.S. while BlackBerry Ltd. proceeds with a patent infringement case against the product. BlackBerry contends Typo Products ripped off the design from the physical keyboards used for typing on BlackBerry's phones.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco ruled that BlackBerry is likely to prove its infringement claims against Typo Products and would be damaged if the sales of the $99 iPhone keyboard were allowed to continue.

The ban could be lifted later in the case if Typo Products prevails in its claims that its iPhone keyboard isn't based on any of BlackBerry's patented designs or technology.

"This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBerry from Typo's blatant theft of our patented keyboard technology," BlackBerry said in a statement.

Typo Products said it plans to appeal Orrick's ruling. "Typo will continue to make and sell innovative products that busy people can't live without," the Los Angeles company said in a statement.

In court papers, Typo Products warned that it might go out of business if it was not allowed to keep selling its iPhone keyboard.

Seacrest started Typo Products with entrepreneur Laurence Hallier last year. The iPhone went on sale in January as an alternative to typing on a touch screen.

The physical keyboards on BlackBerry's phones helped reshape the way that people used mobile devices.

But those phones have been waning in popularity since Apple Inc. released the first iPhone in 2007, threatening BlackBerry's survival. As its losses have mounted, BlackBerry's market value has plummeted from more than $80 billion in 2008 to less than $5 billion today.

The Canadian company is trying to bounce back by focusing more on its software than its smartphones under CEO John Chen, who took charge last year. BlackBerry lost $5.9 billion in its last fiscal year ending March 1.

Explore further: BlackBerry sues startup founded by Ryan Seacrest

Related Stories

BlackBerry co-founder trims stake after huge loss

December 25, 2013

BlackBerry co-founder Michael Lazaridis has trimmed his stake in the troubled smartphone pioneer to just below 5 percent after selling 3.5 million shares during the past two days.

Recommended for you

Musk, Zuckerberg duel over artificial intelligence

July 25, 2017

Visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg were trading jabs on social media over artificial intelligence this week in a debate that has turned personal between the two technology luminaries.

Microsoft Paint brushed aside

July 24, 2017

Microsoft on Monday announced the end of days for its pioneering Paint application as it focuses on software for 3-D drawing.

Hyperloop or hyperbole? Musk promises NY-DC run in 29 mins

July 21, 2017

US entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday he'd received tentative approval from the government to build a conceptual "hyperloop" system that would blast passenger pods down vacuum-sealed tubes from New York to Washington at ...

Google, EU dig in for long war

July 20, 2017

Google and the EU are gearing up for a battle that could last years, with the Silicon Valley behemoth facing a relentless challenge to its ambition to expand beyond search results.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.