A few months back, Typo showed off a keyboard case for iPhone 5 and 5S. Oddly enough, the accessory looked a lot like Blackberry’s patented keyboard layout and in fact, anyone who’s familiar with Blackberry smartphones will know that it looked identical to the Q10’s keyboard design. Naturally, Blackberry, who is already in a lot of trouble, wasn’t happy with this case for iPhone and sued the company stating that it was infringing its patents.
The Canadian company sued Typo back in January and while the case is still going on, last week, the Judge granted a preliminary injunction stopping the sales of the product. According to the Judge who granted the injunction, it was quite likely that Typo’s product infringed Blackberry’s patented design and the defendant did not present any reasons which question the validity of Blackberry’s patents.
“BlackBerry has convincingly shown that Blackberry’s keyboard designs are a key driver of demand and goodwill for BlackBerry phones. Typos keyboard directly targets the segment of smartphone users that prefer a physical keyboard, the market in which BlackBerry competes,” said Judge Orrick.
This sales injunction would mean that Typo can’t sell its iPhone 5 and 5S keyboard cases to its customers. This is exactly what Blackberry was aiming for, as the company filed a suit back in January to stop Typo from copying its design.
However, in order for the sales injunction to take effect, Blackberry will have to post a bond of a sufficient amount in order to pay to Typo, if in course of time; it’s found that the company does not infringe its patents. So, till the company posts this bond, Typo can sell its keyboard cases.
Last year’s Blackberry 10 OS was supposed to be the company’s ship to glory, but somehow, its latest smartphones could not compete with rival Android and iOS products. In fact, the company lost a significant portion of its market share last year, taking the figure to 1.7%.
Blackberry is trying a different strategy now, and latest reports claim that the company is now focusing on its trademark selling point, i.e. its physical keyboard. Blackberry Z10, its full touch screen phone couldn’t garner as much attention as its rivals and the company is now planning to stick with its physical keyboard design for future smartphones.
Given that the company is having a hard time surviving in the market with product leaks, low demand and bad financials, Blackberry will definitely try to close off this case with Typo as soon as possible.
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