When you think about BlackBerry phones, what first comes to mind? BBM? More than likely, it's probably the keyboard. It's still one of the company's distinctive features for some of their phones (if not their only one), while the rest of the mobile world has moved on to touchscreens.
It's for that reason Typo Products was created. Typo has made a snap-on keyboard accessory for iPhones, which lacks a physical keyboard users may miss. The company is co-founded and backed by Ryan Seacrest, and their snap-on product just became available to pre-order last month, marked at a selling point of $99. But BlackBerry took notice of the similarities between their keyboard and Typos', and has filed a complaint against the company.
"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," BlackBerry's chief legal officer Steve Zipperstein said. "We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations."
It is very similar, and you may be thinking "don't all keyboards look like that?" And for that, we'd agree. But BlackBerry may be focusing more on the raised keys, chrome lines, and the feel of the keyboard itself.
In other news, Alicia Keys announced that she's ending her role as product ambassador for BlackBerry at the end of the month—exactly a year since she took on the position.