BlackBerry Suing American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest Over Keyboard Accessory
I will have to admit that BlackBerry has a pretty good case against American Idol star Ryan Seacrest and his new startup company called Typo Products LLC. They are set to launch a new iPhone keyboard accessory that looks almost identical to the “iconic” BlackBerry keyboard we all recognize and remember with fondness. BlackBerry, who is known for excellent build quality but struggled in recent years staying current with a consumer friendly operating system, has fallen to number 4 in the smartphone market share war to Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices. Apple, however, who has a very optimized operating system and hugely popular App Store, has long preferred small screens and hence, very small keyboards. So the much beloved BlackBerry keyboard on an iPhone seems like a match made in Heaven right? That’s exactly what Seacrest and Typo Products LLC founder Laurence Hallier think as they have announced this new keyboard accessory.
BlackBerry’s general counsel and chief legal officer Steve Zipperstein said that:
“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.”
Zipperstein also stated that:
“From the beginning, BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence. We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation.”
I hope Ryan has deep pockets for the lawsuit that is heading his way. The new keyboard accessory is set to debut at the 2014 CES Show.
Yeah, like there are So Many ways to do keyboards… Go Ryan!
Maybe Blackberry should exit the Blackberry business and use this lawsuit as leverage to partner up with Seacrest to make these things for every phone, given that that, unlike whatever it is that the company is currently doing, the strap-on Blackberry keyboard sounds potentially profitable. Isn’t this the keyboard version of what they’re doing with BES?