BlackBerry filed a case of patent infringement against Typo Products LLC, a company co-founded by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, in a California Court on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014.
The subject of the lawsuit is a physical keyboard manufactured by Typo Products that can be attached to some of Apple Inc's touchscreen iPhone 5 models. The said keyboard which features angled miniature keys similar to those of BlackBerry's devices is being offered at $99.
"This is a blatant infringement against Blackberry's iconic keyboard, and we vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design," says Steve Zipperstein, Blackberry's chief legal officer.
"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," he further pointed out.
Typo, on the other hand, believes that BlackBerry's claim lacks merit. Seacrest's company stated that it respects BlackBerry's intellectual property, but it intends to "defend the case vigorously."
"We are aware of the lawsuit that BlackBerry filed today against Typo Products. Although we respect BlackBerry and its intellectual property, we believe that BlackBerry's claim lack merit and we intend to defend our case vigorously," says Typo Product in a statement.
Typo further announced it is excited with its new keyboard design.
"The Typo keyboard has garnered an overwhelming positive response from the public. We are also looking forward to our product launch at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas next week and remain on track to begin shipping pre-orders at the end of January."
Whether BlackBerry or Typo will prevail is yet to be decided by the California Court.