Ryan Seacrest's keyboard startup, Typo, changed the design of its heavily BlackBerry-inspired case after being sued last year, but it turns out that BlackBerry doesn't think those changes make it any less of a rip off. BlackBerry is now suing Typo over the Typo 2, claiming that the case maker has once again copied its designs and patents. "The Typo2 Keyboard still blatantly copies BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard trade dress designs that have been embodied in numerous BlackBerry smartphones from the 2007 BlackBerry 8800 to the current Q10 and Classic models," the complaint reads. It's requesting that a preliminary injunction is issued to stop Typo from selling the new case.
Looks like it's time for a Typo3
Of course, the one thing that Typo didn't copy from BlackBerry is quality — the Typo and Typo2 have not received very favorable reviews — but the two cases do look quite a bit like what BlackBerry makes. That's effectively the sales pitch, too: many former BlackBerry users would love a great physical keyboard to type on, and the Typo promises to deliver that. To its credit, the Typo2 looks modestly less like it was taken right off of a BlackBerry, but it's still very clear where the inspiration came from. Given the developments in the original Typo trial, which is ongoing, it sure seems like BlackBerry could have some luck here. Typo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As far as the original Typo goes, a court issued an injunction barring the keyboard case from being sold. Typo then attempted to get around the injunction and was hit with $860,000 in sanctions — so things aren't exactly going well for it. Typo plans to unveil an iPad keyboard soon. Presumably, that won't run into any trouble with the PlayBook.