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Blackberry The Courts Apple

Typo Keyboard For iPhone Faces Sales Ban 205

time_lords_almanac (3527081) writes "BlackBerry is trying to put the kibosh on the Typo, a physical keyboard attachment for iPhone. And they've won the first round, in the form of a sales ban on the attachment. From the article: '"BlackBerry is pleased that its motion for a preliminary injunction against Typo Products LLC was granted. This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBerry from Typo's blatant theft of our patented keyboard technology," a spokeswoman for BlackBerry told the news agency in an email.'"
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Typo Keyboard For iPhone Faces Sales Ban

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30, 2014 @07:04PM (#46617195)

    Because, you know, physical keyboards are such an advancing field.... I can't imagine how awful keyboards would be with out BlackBerry's patented technology.

    • by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @07:40PM (#46617377)

      Because, you know, physical keyboards are such an advancing field.... I can't imagine how awful keyboards would be with out BlackBerry's patented technology.

      Advancing? Hardly, there are patents and so no advancement is possible.

      • Whoosh!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30, 2014 @08:07PM (#46617537)

        What advancement? The typo keyboard is virtually a 1 for 1 copy of the Q10 keyboard. They didn't even bother changing the colour of the frets.

        You guys would be pretty pissed if "6oo6le" copied Google to the point of even using the playskool colour theme on the letters, but it's A-OK to rip off BlackBerry 100% because you don't like them.


        • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @02:30AM (#46618827)

          What advancement? The typo keyboard is virtually a 1 for 1 copy of the Q10 keyboard. They didn't even bother changing the colour of the frets.

          Just a illustrate how blatant a knock-off it is, here's the Typo keyboard [] from the linked news story, and here's what Typo copied [] to create it.

          • I see a different number of keys on the bottom row. I see that the little ridges on each key is more rounded on the Typo version than the Blackberry version. I also see that the bottom row on the Blackberry keyboard has significant curves at the right and left sides where the other one does not. Then there is the fact that the Typo version is removable and can be added to a smartphone that did not come with a keyboard to start with. What is left that is similar is fairly insignificant, the colors and little
        • So less patent infringement and more copyright issue?
        • My Apple Wireless Keyboard is almost identical to a Model M: the keys are in the same basic arrangement, they're squarish, each key's label contrasts with the plastic of the key itself, and they have many of the same non-alphanumeric keys (shift, delete, etc.). They are clearly infringing.

          There are only so many ways you can make the thing and still have it usable by people who've practiced on others with similar features. In short: form follows function. This seems utterly obvious and doomed to be smacked d

      • Advancing? Hardly, there are patents and so no advancement is possible.

        Is too. The latest version has a sarcasm detector.

    • Having used a lot of keyboards. There are a lot of subtitle thing with them that makes it a good keyboard vs a bad one.

      For example the chicklet keyboard. Apple and Lenovo think pads work. HP doesn't.
      If you want it on the cell phone there are more little details. Making a really good one is hard. And costs a fair amount of R&D to make. However after you make it it is too easy to copy. Hence the pattent protection on it.

    • A lot of the patents out there are ridiculous, but have you actually seen these keyboards? They are straight up copies down to the beveling. Its not a "whats the corner radius maybe they stole from apple" thing, its a "they very probably sent a photo of a blackberry keyboard over to manufacturing" scenario.

      Aside from BES, keyboards definately were (are) the best things about blackberry; Id probably lose my crap too if I were RIM and someone straight up copied it.

    • Because, you know, physical keyboards are such an advancing field.... I can't imagine how awful keyboards would be with out BlackBerry's patented technology.

      I hate to be a Devil's advocate here, but if physical keyboard technology is so straightforward, then why don't you buy yourself a keyboard of a different brand?

  • End times (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nbohr1more ( 2039034 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @07:20PM (#46617279)
    At the twilight of our civilization, endless patent and copyright fights over obvious things. A keyboard at the bottom rather than the side of a phone? Obviously this is a precious work of genius that must be protected at all costs. Soon someone will make a new generation of 8K HDTV's and they will patent "the use of a remote control with 8K HDTV's" When will someone see through this horseshit and revoke these stupid patents.
    • Twilight of civilization? This is about a near magical device that we've made with science which can give you any answer you can think of, communicate with people on the other side of the world, and see pictures of people having sex. What about this gives you such cynicism? Yes, these are idiotic arguments, but think about the idiotic disagreements that lead to real wars in the past. Civilization sure doesn't seem to be on the downward slide.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        Not all civilisations. The civilisation making the stuff is OK and doesn't give much more than lip service to patents.
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @07:24PM (#46617301)
    You mean it's possible for someone to destroy Blackberry faster than Blackberry has done itself?
  • by hax4bux ( 209237 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @07:44PM (#46617415)

    Nobody decides to buy a BB solely based upon a hardware keyboard.

    Probably could have stopped w/"nobody decides to buy a BB"

  • Not taking sides. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrL0G1C ( 867445 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @07:51PM (#46617453) Journal

    They have gone further than just putting a keyboard on the iphone, see pic: []

    They've copied the shape of the keys, the horizontal bars between the keys etc.

    • Just wait till Apple realises that the edges are also curved.

    • So they copied look and feel. Are there any patent-worthy inventions involved?

      Patents are supposed to protect inventions, not megacorps that happen to be butthurt.

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        Were the patents involved design patents? If so, then it's not about what functionality was "invented" but rather how it looks as an entirety.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30, 2014 @07:55PM (#46617481)

    Why would they name a keyboard "typo"? Even as an amusing meta-reference, it falls flat.

    It's like trying to sell a toilet paper named "Anal Scraper".

  • It is stunts like this that ensure when Blackberry finally must close their doors, few will weep. Roughly one year remains.
    • by narcc ( 412956 )

      Yeah, we've been hearing that for years now. Still hasn't happened.

      Just keep making predictions until you get a hit, Silvia Brown. I'm sure we'll all be impressed with your intellectual prowess then.

  • Funny. There's a shit-ton of Chinese messaging phones [] using Blackberry style keyboards with shaped keys (oooh so innovative). I doubt they're licensing the patent given the low price point these sell at in emerging markets.

    • by narcc ( 412956 )

      Yeah, it is "oooh so innovative". There's a reason why everyone raved about the quality of their keyboards, you know.

      Ever try to type, well, anything on a Motorola Droid Pro or Palm Pre? There's obviously a lot more here than just "shaped keys".

  • Asserting a patent that turns out to be invalid or not applicable should cost the accuser big time. All of the defendants legal costs plus 5% of annual worldwide gross revenue would be a good start.

  • this isn't about patents or saving blackberry, it's about stopping ryan seacrest. he's the one behind the kardasshians for heaven's sake. set aside your petty libertarian and socialist differences and unite against tyranny of another more diabolical sort!

  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @09:52PM (#46617957)
    Gotta side with BlackBerry on this one.

    Keyboards like this one... []

    ...have been around for years.

    However, one look at the "Typo" tells you that it's a blatant BB ripoff. If you want / need a keyboard like that, buy a 'Berry.
  • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @09:54PM (#46617965)
    This is being blown way out of proportion here. Filing the infringement lawsuit and winning the injunction was the first step towards making a deal. With the injunction in hand Blackberry has demonstrated to Seacrest and his investors that this is serious, but they've also left open the way to a deal. This would probably take the form of royalty payments from Typo to Blackberry for each case sold, the amount to be negotiated after agreement in principle to pay royalties. The remaining Blackberry shareholders are hard core professional investors and financial types now, not technologists, so they will be eager to squeeze any money they can out of the patent portfolio even if that cannibalizes a few Blackberry sales down the road.
  • Oh Nos!

    This will surely help blackberry survive in the market!

    Good job with those patents! Now nobody can have a working keyboard, not their
    nonexistent client nor the iPhone people who could have used a Typo.


  • Why? Because I'm stockpiling in the event that TYPO goes belly-up. Using a Typo-keyboard with my iPhone is the finest mobile phone experience available and I am loathe to go back to a glass keyboard. I had a death grip on my Blackberry but I switched to iPhone a few years ago for reasons too numerous to list. I tried a few keyboard cases for iPhone. Although not perfect, the Typo is by far the best of the lot. Using it allows me to have the whole iPhone screen visible. I can thumb type quickly and accuratel
  • I _was_ going to say, "I can't imagine blocking such a product would increase RIM's market share. All this does is make people hate Blackberries even more."

    But then I saw what it looks like. It's a freaking Blackberry keyboard rip off! At least take the time to design something a LITTLE new, guys.

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