Typo halts sales of iPhone keyboard as injunction takes effect

Martyn Williams
16 April, 2014
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Typo halted the sale of its add-on keyboard for the iPhone on Tuesday after an injunction took effect that bans it from being imported to the US.

The injunction is part of a patent lawsuit brought against it by BlackBerry and was triggered when BlackBerry put up a US$500,000 bond with the court. The money will be used to compensate Typo for its lost profits if it ends up winning the case.

Typo launched to considerable attention earlier this year, in large part because it was co-funded by US TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest.

BlackBerry quickly filed suit, alleging that Typo’s keyboard is an “obvious knock-off” of the keyboards on its BlackBerry phones. The US$99 product slips onto an iPhone 5 or 5s.

BlackBerry noted in its suit that Seacrest was a longtime BlackBerry user and had said in interviews that he wanted to bring together the best of the BlackBerry typing experience with the iPhone.

In issuing the temporary injunction in late March, Judge William Orrick of the US District Court for the Northern District of California said, “BlackBerry has established a likelihood of proving that Typo infringes the patents at issue and Typo has not presented a substantial question of the validity of those patents.”

A link to order devices on Typo’s website directed to an error page on Tuesday.

by Martyn Williams, IDG News Service

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