Business

BlackBerry sues Ryan Seacrest’s startup for ripping off its keyboard design

BlackBerry has lost so much that it has nothing to lose, so it’s going on the offensive.

The company said today that it’s suing Typo Products, the startup that media personality Ryan Seacrest cofounded, over its $99 smartphone keyboard.

The device, which Typo Products plans to show off at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show next week, attaches to an iPhone 5, making it easier to type without typos.

This sounds good, but BlackBerry argues that Typo’s gadget looks a little bit too much like the keyboards on its own devices.

“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, said in a statement.

Comparing the keyboard on BlackBerry’s recent Q10 and the one on Typo’s attachment (seen in the photo above), it’s easy to see where the embattled smartphone company is coming from. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that BlackBerry itself designed the Typo attachment.

Put another way, BlackBerry clearly has a case. Though one can only wonder if it’s just burned that it didn’t think of Typo’s idea first.

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