Typo Keyboards, a product line pushed by former American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, is facing a complete ban this week after BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) asked a California court to immediately ban sales of the iPhone peripheral. The company says that the keyboards sold by the company infringe on its own keyboard designs.
The judge was inclined to agree back in March when an injunction was originally granted against the company. That injunction was due to come into effect on Friday, April 18 on the condition that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) posted a surety bond to make up for lost profits in case Typo won the case. The company is now seeking a ban that would come into force immediately. The news was initially uncovered by Martyn Williams over at itworld.com.
Typo irks Blackberry with “fire sale”
According to the Waterloo-based smartphone maker, Typo is trying to flood the market with its keyboards before the ban on their sale can come into effect. It is petitioning the judge to stop this behavior immediately in order to preserve the company’s hold on the designs it claims are infringed upon.
According to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), “Typo has contradicted its prior sworn statements and has significantly changed the way it does business in an attempt to flood the market with infringing keyboards before entry of the injunction.”
BlackBerry searching for business opportunities
Even if Typo did copy BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) design for its keyboard, it is unusual to see a large company vigorously defend its intellectual property against a smaller rival. Typo itself argued that it was too small to damage BlackBerry when it sought to stop the sales ban against it. The fight makes sense, however, if BlackBerry is jealously guarding its keyboard with purpose.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) smartphones were famous for a few key attributes at peak popularity. Most of those were software features but there were two outstanding hardware features that fans of the phones ranted about: the navigation wheel and the keyboard. The company has decided to offer its software to third party smartphone users. Perhaps its hardware is the next thing the company will repackage and sell off.
A third party BlackBerry keyboard would, like the company’s BBM messaging service, find a niche market among those who love BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) but not enough to actually buy one. Either way Typo, and Ryan Seacrest, will have to stop selling competing options by Friday, if not immediately.