Round Two: Typo fights back against BlackBerry

By Adam Zeis on 6 Feb 2014 02:53 pm EST

The BlackBerry / Typo saga continues. Recently BlackBerry sought an injunction against Typo and their iPhone keyboard accessory, claiming that the Typo infringes on one or more of BlackBerry's patents. BlackBerry aimed to block sales of the device in the US for the time being.

Typo isn't going down without a fight however. In order for BlackBerry to win out, they'll need to convince the court that they would suffer “irreparable injury" from sales of the Typo — so far they haven't. The Typo sells for $99.99 and so far around 4,000 of the devices have been sold. 

Typo is now arguing that BlackBerry is seeking a monopoly for keyboards on any device, not just the Typo. 

“BlackBerry seeks a monopoly on keyboards for any device. Regretfully, however, small keyboards with nearly identical layouts as the one ‘claimed’ by BlackBerry have been around since the mid-1980s” 

BlackBerry isn't contending that no other companies can make products with keyboards, rather that the Typo in particular has more than a few similarities to their "iconic design". 

The story continues. Kevin has broken three pre-production models already, so if Typo does continue to sell devices, let's hope the quality improves a bit :) 

Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Round Two: Typo fights back against BlackBerry


Strange how some lines of phone users say the physical keyboard is almost archaic but yet they want them for their devices

Posted via CB10


yeah they say that the physical keyboard is outdated but here they crave the keyboard on their phones. very strange

But the point is the masses first agreed with apple. When people bashed BlackBerry for "being dead" they commented that nobody needs a phone with a keyboard. I saw that countless times and it wasn't from Apple, it was from the same people that are probably lining up to grab a typo

Posted via CB10

That's quite the hyperbole. The fact that there's a segment of people that still want physical keyboards, doesn't invalidate Apple's original assertion that physical keyboards on mobile devices are dead. I would think the market share that clearly shows touch screen phones dominating would indicate that Apple was correct. There will always be the hard core minority that still prefer something old and familiar.

That would explain the public outcry from Blackberry fans in Canada who protested to Rogers to carry the Z30 -- a touch screen phone.

Way to read something completely irrelevant into the demand for the Z30 in Canada. People here anxiously awaited the Q10 too, but all the major carriers sold it so a campaign wasn't necessary. All the outcry proved was that some people want 5" devices and were upset that Rogers wasn't going to make them available to subscribers locked into contracts.

The Q10 has outsold the Z30, and a recent CrackBerry poll showed the Z30 with less than half the adoption of the Q10. Your assessment is flawed and your argument specious.

Posted via CB10

It doesn't take a huge feat to outsell the Z30 I'll give you that. My argument was just as valid as the original poster who claimed the Typo suddenly validates Blackberry physical keyboards because a small minority of users might want to use this keyboard with their touchscreen phones.

The outcry at Rogers had nothing to with touch screen or physical keyboard. It was about a Canadian service provider not supporting a fellow Canadian company.

Actually I would argue that everything else being equal, a majority would prefer a physical keyboard to a virtual one, but are not willing to give up screen real estate to have one. Games, video, and photographs are undeniably better on a 16:9 format device.

BlackBerry does virtual keyboards better than anybody else, but combine a 16:9 full touch screen with a properly implemented slide-out or flip-up keyboard and you'd have a surefire winner.

Posted via CB10

And you say my assessment is flawed and specious? What market research are you basing your "majority would prefer a physical keyboard" from? The minuscule Blackberry marketshare? You actually believe a 5" screen with a physical keyboard would succeed? Give your head a shake. The market has already spoken.

I would prefer a physical keyboard, but I don’t want to give up my screen real estate, just like he said. He never said anything about putting a physical keyboard on a 5" screen. He mentioned a slider.

A "landsape" Slider would be perfect...something similar to the Droid 2. That concept coupled with the perfect BB QWERTY would be outstanding; million times better than the Torch. Z30 "Slider" anyone?

Yeah agreed. I myself *would* prefer a physical keyboard. But this is the best virtual one available. So that means I can take advantage of that screen real estate that I am tardy of giving up.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

How many people do you really think are buying the typo?!!! It's a joke that you're using the typo as the litmus test of whether people have hypocritically gone back against their previous assertion that physical keyboards are dead.

I guess you're right... ALL those people who first agreed with Apple when it said that physical keyboards are dead are all wrong and have now figured out their huge mistake. I guess that's why BB is selling millions and millions of physical keyboard phones now. SMH

lining up to grab a typo? they've only sold 4,000, even assuming that its 1 unit per customer, 4,000 people getting the typo out of all of the iphone users doesn't seem like a high %.

It's because the iPhone is boring. I mean yeah, sure, they have a lot of apps to choose from, but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of iphone users are getting a little bit tired of having essentially the same looking device for years and years. At least android phones come out in a few different shapes and sizes. In this day and age, people want something fresh and new. The Blackberry Z and Q series are fresh and new. If only people would take five minutes out of their busy days to discover how awesome BB10.2.1 is and how they can now get most of the apps they want using snap or gmobile.

I think Typo's next court case will be against their own legal departments heads that said, "Yeah, we can take BlackBerry in court. No problem!"

It's not about a monopoly on keyboards, other OEMs were making keyboard phones the same time and before BlackBerry. All BlackBerry did was put a patent on the design of THEIR keyboard. I hope BlackBerry wipes the floor with these guys. If BlackBerry loses, I'll be shocked.

Exactly, they talk all this crap about BB having a keyboard, but when it comes down to it, they know it's merely their excuse so they don't sound as shallow by admitting "BB isn't the cool trend now so that's why I don't want one."

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

I didn't realise that dominating smartphone sales for 6-7 years is just a "cool trend". Thanks for clearing that up. Is BlackBerry like lamb chop sideburns? When's that trend coming back?

Depends whether you want British or American English.

I actually prefer the American zpelling, and use it more often, I guess it looks more technical kinda.

Here in Australia we get so many influences from all over the world, no one really seems to care anymore. TV and Internet doing the rest.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

Well you are a fister i guess. but seriously, go away, anyone that is trying to provoke me isn't go to go well for them. And since you support firsters, makes you just like them, trying to attain a coolness on the internet

I saw that one coming.

Firsting discussions turning into fisting discussions because of spelling, accidental or intentional.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

ohhhhhhh accidently on purpose!! hahahahahaah that wasn't on purpose... you are a fool! And it's no insult to me... I'm calling you a fistie, so you're the little b!tch that likes being fisted!

Sorry Quickie, first you took the bait and then got fisted.

ROFL with tears, help!

(no negativity towards you, just too funny!)

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

I'm a SECONDer....Which means I'm not as cool as the FIRSTers (or the Fisters) I believe the reason people are fisting you Quicksilver is because you always attack Firsters with extreme hatred (even when they were not even calling first )

Relax dude, life's too short

Posted via CB10

He's creating a new genre. Fisted by Firsters. Maybe he ought to create an adult entertainment startup "Banged By Bros."; starring in his own films. A company name,theme, and his own special tools the PrickSliver and QuickLicker.

Posted via CB10

shiszil, hows it feel to be my bitch?? You know you take it from me, right from behind. Now shut up, and take it like a good little girl that are you!

Another blog posting with comments ruined by the fisting firsters. Here's your sticker now go play in traffic while the people who actually have comments worth reading can do so.


Posted with my Z10 via CB10

+1, it was that idiotic playbookster that started this too. Just being a complete moron by starting crap like this.

actually, I have never called anyone out that didn't say first or didn't intend to. iBimmer who very nice to see hasn't been on recently, decided to make it his goal to piss me off by adding a number to any post he made. So he would even say second or third, when he wasn't even close to being that position. And a lot of people are trying to stir the pot, this idiot playbookster is a perfect example. I responded to the article and his moronic ass says first and now you are being stupid by saying seconder.... Get a life, trying to be first or second is not cool at all, and makes you look like a complete moron trying to grab attention from mommy.... Hey mommy, look I said first or second on an internet article..... Am I cool now?

...and this is no offense intended, but you do realise that you've become quite the joke in your quite unnecessary passion against certain posters and their posts, right? You seem like a smart guy, so i'm sure you're aware. It's alright of you'd like that kind of thing to be your 'legacy' here, but the string of comments above is an example of how both you and those you oppose are simply degrading the quality of the CrackBerry comment section. Please, stahp!

I second that. I don't really understand why you use some of the offensive language above either.

Man, I think even a donkey could wind you up of we taught him to say "first" as well!!

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

“BlackBerry seeks a monopoly on keyboards"

Well thats simply not true. BlackBerry is defending THEIR keyboard design which is valid, it looks identical to the Q10 after all, you need some original thought when making a new product, a pure ripping off deserved to be sued into the ground

Wouldn't be bad if they would sue a few other companies though. I've seen blantant copies of Bold and Curve keyboards all over the place.

Exactly! Motorola made one very similar! BlackBerry you better stick this out because if you lose this then other companies are going to thing you are ultra weak.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I believe Palm (or was it Handspring?) had to do the same with their keyboards.

Posted via CB10

First!!! Hehe. Sike. I'm not first. I just wanted to piss you off. Anyways BlackBerry will win this case.

Posted via CB10

I guess I am. It's hilarious reading the comments of people getting pissed over someone posting first.

Posted via CB10

so another noob with less than a year thinking it's cool to try to piss people off? Way to go... talk to me when you have been here for 5 years!

and you know, you should really learn how to use the CB10 app, it has a feature that you click on a comment, and you can reply to the comment, otherwise your post would generally be ignored.

Why so angry?
Really, who cares if someone posts first in their comment?
Really....... what is it doing to you?
Do you enjoy being upset?
The choice is yours......
Just chill dude.

Posted via CB10

I really hope this doesn't drag out and become a bad thing, BlackBerry shouldn't let themselves be muscled and have their designs stolen, but this can damage their persona if it takes a lot of litigation

Via CB10, Brklyn, NY

The courts better give this one to The Canadian company. Of all infringement cases, this one should be an easy one for the courts to decide unless of course they are biased and lean more towards the domestic companies. It's a dirty and messy business (show) in all things regarding law and the court systems. Come on BlackBerry we're rooting for you! Why would anyone name their product/keyboard the 'Typo' is beyond me.. it is 'catchy'..

Posted via CB10

It's because the keyboard is meant to fix frequent "typos" that occur using Iphones touch keyboard. Makes some sense and yeah, it's catchy.

Posted via CB10

Could you provide some links to those thousands of different Bluetooth keyboards which use the BlackBerry design concepts?

BlackBerry should license them to sell the keyboard. There's some big money they can get from Kevin

Posted via CB10

But If it looks and smells and tastes like a BlackBerry, but doesn't perform like a BlackBerry, does it hurt BlackBerry? Also some big money to be lost, perhaps, or at least what's left of a reputation.

Irrep harm is one element that BlackBerry needed to prove to prove to get court order blocking typo sales going forward (injunction), but since BlackBerry could be made whole by money damages (not irrep harm), court denied injunction req. Doesnt mean BlackBerry wont win infringement case.

Posted via CB10 on z10.2.1.176

One of BlackBerry's claims is that it would suffer "irreparable damage" to its sales if the Typo keyboard was allowed to be sold in the U.S. Typo's comeback was to say that BlackBerry phones don't sell that well in the U.S. as it is so Typo would be doing damage to WHAT sales? This, of course, speaks to today's market and not the anticipated increase in U.S. sales of BlackBerry phones in tomorrow's market.

I hope that's not the strongest leg Typo has to stand on. If so, it'll be a very short day in court.

Cheers. :)

Typo's design and functionality is clearly more than just a simple coincidence when it comes down to it's "similarity" to BlackBerry and it's devices! Even someone with a serious brain injury, like Sarah Palin let's say, could see this from a mile away!

This shouldn't come down for BlackBerry having to prove "irreparable" damage, it should come down to common sense and the protection of patents and intellectual property!

On that note, Typo can go screw themselves and shove their keyboard where the sun don't shine (that would be up their ass, in case you are wondering)!

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

Funny how they completely sidestepped the point of infringing on the design of the Q10 keyboard, specifically.

Posted via CB10

I'm hoping the quality stays low. If people buy it, and constantly break them. Maybe they'll move to the better product and BlackBerry will sell more phones.

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

Whoops, posted a blank message.

Typo is making a device for no one. Any lapsed BlackBerry user who actually wants to still be productive (albeit not AS productive) will be running Android.

Posted via CB10

Be interesting to see typos reaction if blackberry put a blue tooth version of their keyboards on the market for i phones. In fact it would probably outsell the typo because it will give i phone user the real thing.typo can whine about silly details all they like! Bottom line it looks to all the world like a BlackBerry copy. Not cool typo!

Posted via CB10 on my Z10(& i am luvin it!)

I thought the 'irreparable injury' only applies to the injunction sought to block sales on an interim basis. BlackBerry may still win out in the long run on patent infringement, perhaps, while Typo is still allowed to sell product. I don't think you can just use anyone's patents, as long as you're not 'injuring' the patent-holder monetarily. But they'll have to prove the patent(s) are applicable. Then again, I'm no lawyer.

I say that Kevin should do another poll, showing only the keyboard ask :

"What company would you call for support if you needed support or repairs"

If the poll leans toward blackberry wouldn't that lead toward proof of financial hardship?

Posted via CB10 with a Z30

BlackBerry needs to crush these guys. They can build a keyboard, like others have. Just can't be BB or have frets.


Posted via CB10

The shoddiness of the typo keypad may also inadvertently affect market perception of the Q10. Since it looks a lot like the same keyboard.

Posted via CB10

You're making me worried now. Hope my Q is not going to wear out and disappear in a puff of smoke...

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Ah, just the reverse.
If someone want a hard KB they will have to get a BB product.

Type reminds me of the look a-like stuff that is sold by Hong Kong suppliers of secondary market phone parts.
Let the buyer beware. If you have a bad taste for your Typo you will never recommend it.

O never knew the expression 'sony guts'.
It seems to have come from a SNL skit where the players in a scene talking about a knock-off CD player ..
where it was passed off as having 'sony guts', but not really the sony stuff inside.

If it looks like a Blackberry,
be sure it is a real Blackberry,
otherwise you may be getting junk.

It's clearly a rip off, people couldn't tell the difference at CES. Sadly I don't believe any royalties rewarded will amount to much as they likely won't sell many of them.

Posted via CB10

They're garbage. Good for BlackBerry for fighting for what's rightfully yours!

Posted using the best phone ever, the white Z10!

People love the keyboard. But they left because there was so much more to a phone than a keyboard and 2 yrs ago BlackBerry phones were slow, sluggish, froze, battery pull...while the other phones like iPhone and Galaxy were super fast and didn't have the same slowness as BlackBerry. if BlackBerry released the Q10 3 yrs ago it would be a very different story. I'm glad I held out to get the Z10 cuz it's awesome. Unfortunately people who left before BB10 likely won't come back because they'll always compare their current phone to a legacy device which just isn't on the same level.

Posted via CB10

Apple gets millions from Android cuz of them copying their touchscreen bullshit. So whats up with this!?

They've already been public in saying it was based off a BlackBerry they have no defense. Its a identical ripoff.

I can't convince my boss to buy a z10 let alone aZ30. He walk into work last week with a Q5 after retiring his 9900. He said he would give BB10 a week try out.

Posted Via my second Z10

The NY Times Reviewer gave Typo a less than fine review.
4000 purchases so far is not an overwhelming response to a product with a lot of hype.

Let Typo RIP.

4000 at 3 per user since they are crap and garbage means they are not selling much. And how many have been returned for sucking as well.

They should just accept they copied, shut down and create some makeup for Seacrest instead!

Hate solves nothing, Respect gains everything!

I must admit to an involuntary wry grin when the post mentioned Kevin has broken three through standard use, I assume.

Via CB10 & Z10 or Q10

Keep the pressure on !
Has Chen said we have 4000 patents and we need to Monitise

Posted via CB10

I'm curious about the supposed similar keyboard device from the mid-80s Typo is referring to, especially since the what was considered the first cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard didn't come out until the mid-90s.

RIM sued Handspring over their Treo keyboard for patent infringement and Handspring settled by agreeing to pay licence fees. Palm did the same with the Tungsten W. And Nokia had to pay for RIM patented keyboard software. So there is plenty of precedence for RIM sueing and winning on early mobile 'qwerty thumbboard' patents, no matter what Seacrest may claim.

Posted via CB10

More of our hard earned dollars wasted in the Courts. But our beloved BlackBerry are unique and exclusive. If people look at the original 'intent' of the typo, it was and is because they didn't want to carry both a BlackBerry and an iPhone at the same time. Whatever. Keep Moving BlackBerry...

Posted via CB10

Just out of curiosity, how many people have broken a BlackBerry keyboard by to much typing (not dropping it). Had an 8330 Curve before ma Z10 and it still can type pretty good!

Posted via CB10

I hope BlackBerry continue to fight Typo. However, they should also design a really nice physical keyboard with a big screen. Make them irresistible. This way the folks that left BlackBerry but still want physical keyboard will come back and that's also the end of Typo.

 CB10 

Damn, 3?! I only knew of the 1. Well then BlackBerry can just drop the lawsuit as the product from Typo is obviously crap lol.

The Typo guys are idiots based on their response...BlackBerry isn't going after you because you made a keyboard...but because you took their exact (or 99% of) design...and to say that just because a company (BlackBerry) isn't moving that much product and won't suffer much off your sales says two things, you're likely guilty, and you don't concern yourself with basic copyright laws...

Posted with my awesome Z10...or maybe even my Q10...50/50 chance...

Ok let's say BlackBerry does win the patent infringement, Typo is a new company with I'm guessing not much money right? How will this benefit BlackBerry outside of typo not being sold in the U.S. Won't they just sell and ship them from overseas?

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

it is what it is.."typo" is a complete rip off of BlackBerry! they are a joke for even trying to justify their "unique" design! they literally turn a iPhone into a BlackBerry! only.. you are still stuck with the shitty apple os.. so if a company can make an accessory to turn a iPhone into a exact physical replica design of a existing patented competitor and generate a profit from a sale which is clearly motivated by the simple fact that the "consumer" wants a "physical" keyboard "attached" to their device which happens to be the very foundation on which BlackBerry was built/ One of the main reasons that I was attracted to BlackBerry!... the physical keyboard experience!!!! in my mind BlackBerry has lost 4000 potential phone sales due to the fact that they Frankenstein a iPhone into a BlackBerry and collect profit.

Posted via CB10

blatant disregard for patents and a foolish response to the court TPYO. BB will win in court! Who do you think you are ? the president ? The iRS ? who are trying to fool ?

Physical keyboards are about as cool as those hairy boxes I used to lust for when I'd find my dad's Hustler collection back in the day. It's to move on people. Clean and shaved is in. Heck, at most the virtual keyboard is a landing strip which is still more than acceptable.

BlackBerry should forget the whole legal challenge and just make a better version of Typo and beat them at their own game......then it's game over for Typo!!!

Posted using my amazing Z10...BB4All

I say let them make them and watch people get pissed when that piece of junk breaks. Get a taste for that keyboard they crave and come crawling back to the real deal.

Posted via CB10

Who the hell is "craving" this keyboard beyond the ever dwindling throng of over zealous BB fanboys? Crawling back to this is akin to crawling back to that $10 crack whore you never told your buddies about.

Check yo self pmich.

I hear ya Ober. I used to be that guy man. I used to be that physical keyboard guy who'd whip it out in a club, Starbuck's, the super market, a pub and the chicks would come crawling like a camp leader on a boy scout. But one day the vag just straight dried up man. Nothing. I'd pull it out and where there were puddles in the past I'd now see tumbleweed blow by. That was the day I gave up on my BB and went iPhone and Android. The virtual keyboard brought back the vag quicker than I dumped that brick BB phone. I needed rain boots when I went out because these chicks were Niagara Fallsing at the site of the virtual keyboard that I now stroked.

You'll get the picture one day playa.


My treo 700 and HTC tilt both had keyboards. But guess what they didn't look anything like a blackberry keyboard. The typos have what looks exactly like the shape of the iconic blackberry keyboards.

Posted via CB10

I was watching a video from mobile burn and the guy that was doing the review said its very clear that everyone can see where typo got this idea and they not even hiding then. He continue to say that it looks
just like the q10 keyboard just a few things deferent so how can typo defend that they did not copy cat the q 10 keyboard

A monopoly of less than 1% in market share in the United States cannot be a monopoly.

Posted via CB10

I hope that they all break. BlackBerry is right. The physical keyboard on the typo is almost exact. Down to the frets that separate the keys.

Posted via CB10

This is crappy aftermarket accessories.
They wound BlackBerry image by letting people believe this is actually a BlackBerry keyboard experience.
Sue them and make it impossible for them to distribute as is. Do not license. At all.

All I know is iphone and Android suck...long live the King...BlackBerry Z30...woo-hoo

Rocking the Z30 Regina SK Canada

I owned this brick aka Z30. Technology was 3 years old out of the box. Tossed it into the Don River.

Do the same.

Sorry man. Just noticed you're in Regina. That Z30 is three years ahead of the curve there.

As you were...

What's your issue dude? You're making a fool of yourself acting like a know it all bully. Don't you have anything better to do?

Hey there Mr. Zane, hold on a second there before you besmirch my "internet cred" and act all tough on me. Internet thugs like you hiding behind your slow as molasses BlackBerry browser really piss me off. In person I'd be knocking you out with my brick Note 3. That's right fool. Split dat cranium of yours in two. Keep your corporate BB talk in the boardroom. Out here in the streets your bark means nothing man.

Ya heard me?


And why the hell is the word "monopoly" even linked with BlackBerry? Closest they'll ever come to that is by playing the board game. These chumps are currently residing on Baltic Avenue after being booted out of Boardwalk and Park Place by Apple/Android.

I just hate how the company just shamelessly copied BlackBerry in this one.

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

People are lemmings. They spend all there energy following what everyone else does. Now the Typo is banking on everyone that got rid of their Blackberry to get an iPhone will be interested in turning their iPhones into a Blackberry!

instead of focusing on improvements and moving forward, everybody copies apple tactics to get that easy money. and ppl here blindly defending bb. wtf. bb is a company, they only care about money. not you and me, only benjamins. if a company invented wheels, we would still be walking everywhere. this suing shit is just an excuse for lack of ideas and jealousy coz somebody inspired by your work came up with an idea that you were to stupid or lazy to came up with. waht happened with proving that you are better? typo comes up with this keyboard make a better keyboard and blow them out the galaxy. how is this lawsuit gonna affect me? how is this going to make my life better? is not. the onlyones who are going to profit from this are the lawyers and the winning company. me as an end user will have only to lose as the company will be more concerned on winning the lawsuit instead of improving what;s wrong their devices

Irrrep harm must be shown to get court to order typo stop selling pending final outcome of case. Since BlackBerry CAN be made who by money damages (ie licensing fees), ct finds no irrep harm, and denies injunction. Doesnt mean BlackBerry wont win infringement suiy.

Posted via CB10 on z10.2.1.176

Why not beat them at their own game. Build a real Blackberry Keyboard for the iPhone. Sell it for $100. They might make more from that device than they make on handsets, who knows. Give the people what they want.

You know, I normally get annoyed by patent infringement lawsuits like Samsung and Apple.

But that Typo s*** totally copied the Q10 keyboard and all of the Bold series. It didn't even try! It's f***ing embarrassing!

So good for BlackBerry. Sue Typo and take Ryan Seacrest all the way to hell!

Posted via CB10