back to article BlackBerry sucker-punches TV star Ryan Seacrest in patent brawl

Troubled mobe maker BlackBerry has received a welcome bit of good news from a California court, which has blocked sales of a physical iPhone add-on keyboard the company says copies its hardware. A Northern California District Court judge on Monday granted an injunction that prevents the sale and import of Typo keyboards for …


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  1. Shoot Them Later

    I hate to say it

    BlackBerry have a point - the keyboard looks uncannily like the one on my old, abandoned, work BlackBerry Bold, down to the use of opposed curved ridges on each half of the keyboard. Whether this is a legitimately patentable design, I am no patent lawyer (thankfully) but I've seen lots more flimsy patents.

    If one of BB's strengths is its keyboard, then perhaps they should be selling this sort of thing themselves already and let people use a genuine BB keyboard without having to put up with the rest of the BB. If only they had the spare cash to simply buy Typo.

    Have to say though that the iPhone 5(s) form factor doesn't really lend itself to this type of add on - looks impossibly tall with it on.

    1. Salts

      Re: I hate to say it

      Yes, for once it does seem a fair claim, when it first came up a few months ago on el Reg I agreed then as now, I was shocked at myself:-)

      Anyway have another upvote.

    2. Private Citizen.AU

      Re: I hate to say it

      side by side they look even more similar. While I agree Qwerty is Qwerty, in this format it is a stunted QWERTY, they could claim innovation and difference if they didnt match the key design (with mid key curves) but the giveaway is the location of the ALT, shift and enter keys, in reshaping a QWERTY keyboard for this factor you have to invent the layout for special keys. it looks like a blackberry keyboard with a few extra buttons. The placement of the shifted characters is beyond suspicious.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge
    Thumb Up


  3. Crisp Silver badge

    As far as I'm concerned...

    All Qwerty keyboards are practically the same. Mostly from the necessity of having all the keys in a place where a touch typists fingers know where to find them.

  4. James Boag

    re As far as I'm concerned...

    Is that the case why do i always has issues with the shift keys ( positioned in just the wrong place or too small or too large) !

    1. Fluffy Bunny

      Re: re As far as I'm concerned...

      That's because many modern keyboards (especialy ones labelled "Internet" or "multimedia") don't have proper sized shift keys. They also mangle the key block above the cursor keys into an unusable jumble.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 Phones

    Rubbish, those that have 2 phones is due to one being personal and one being work issued. The fact that 1 of those 2 has a physical keyboard is due to the strong (at least until recently) presence of blackberry in business.

    As for the decision against typo, I'd love to know how many keyboard add ons they have sold, my guess, not many. End result, Blackberry are still headed down, which in my view is a shame, they only have themselves to blame though.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: 2 Phones


      Oh I'm doing it wrong, Q10 personal and Nokia Feature Phone (Which I prefer because it gets charges once a fortnight)

  6. Ken 16 Silver badge

    so, not an April Fool then?

    I'm sure I've used phones other than Blackberry which had keyboards, some even qwerty. What makes this keyboard different in kind?

  7. dervheid

    Querty keyboard patent?

    I call April Fool on that one.

    Besides, my missus had a Ericsson phone many years ago that had a plug-in querty keyboard.

    Not to mention all those other crackberry clones out there

  8. NoneSuch

    That keyboard is the only asset BB has to flog.

  9. Lamont Cranston

    Given that BBM is available on non-BB handsets,

    maybe BB are about to release their own keyboard add-on for other manufacturers' handsets?

    Even if that is the case, this "we own the concept of QWERTY keyboards for mobiles" smacks somewhat of sour grapes.

  10. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    It must be a *Design* patent (on design and appearance)

    As opposed to a *Utility* patent (on keyboards in general).

    Anybody got a darn patent number so we can pull it up?

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: It must be a *Design* patent (on design and appearance)

      US patents 7,629,964, 8,162,552, and D685,775 apparently.

      Only the third one is a design patent, the first two are for physical keyboards optimised for mobile use (broadly speaking).

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