back to article American Idol host's keyboard firm smacks back against BlackBerry in patent spat

Typo Keyboards, the iPhone keyboard firm co-founded by TV host Ryan Seacrest, has hit back at patent infringement claims from BlackBerry, claiming that the Canadian company's intellectual property isn't even valid. Typo said in a court filing that the patents BlackBerry is trying to assert against the firm over its attachable …


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  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the inventors had allegedly withheld known prior art references"

    And, once again, we need the Courts to do the job of the Patent Office, which has transitioned from granting patents to just rubber-stamping them.

    1. Pat Att

      Re: "the inventors had allegedly withheld known prior art references"

      Well, I can't quite see how you can blame the Patent Office for that particular problem. They can only deal with prior art that they are aware of (and any search can't be fully complete). From the facts given (and I personally wouldn't trust these without a lot of extra legwork), they are accusing Blackberry of hiding documents from the patent office. It's like blaming you for innocently eating that cake in the fridge, even though you didn't know it was meant for the mother in law.

      And the law relating to this in the US has recently changed - your patent can only be invalidated if you wilfully and deliberatly withheld the prior art documents. Mere accidental non compliance with sending in all known prior art documents no longer results in invalidity of the patent.

  2. wolfetone

    Well they're not going to say "Oh yeah we did rip BlackBerry off. We're very sorry and we will change the product now".

    1. Mr Anonymous

      What ripoff? The Sony P910 had an external keyboard that pressed on to the touch screen underneath, that was in 2004. At that time did Blackberry have a touch phone & did it have an external keyboard?

      1. 404

        @Mr Anonymous (why does that word always look mispelled..... anyway)

        AT&T's version of the BB Torch had a slider as well as touch kb's!family=Torch

        For some reason, it never translated over to Verizon. Too bad too, it was pretty sexy ;)

      2. KjetilS

        It was the P800 I believe, but your point probably stands.

        The P910 had a "proper" keyboard with microswitches.

      3. wolfetone

        Use the photo from the article and compare it to the BlackBerry Bold 9780 for example, it's like Typo have just bought a load of BlackBerry's and hacked the keyboard off them.

        1. Gav

          Well I suppose that you can pick up job lots of Blackberries quite cheaply these days. Cannibalising them may turn a profit.

      4. 142

        re:The Sony P910 had an external keyboard...

        That's not the issue blackberry have. Read the earlier article on this topic. It's to do with how the keys themselves are designed for usability and to avoid typing mistakes. They're very genuine grievances.

      5. Tom 13

        Re: The Sony P910 had an external keyboard

        BB aren't suing because they attached an external keyboard. They're suing because the external keyboard looks an awful lot like their keypad.

        Seacrest claims to have spent millions developing their keypad. BB most likely did too. Sometimes the exact angle for part of a device is the key to how it works. If the sizes of each of the keys and the angles on all of them are the same BB might have a legitimate case if they spent millions to determine that was the best engineering solution. If I were sitting on a jury hearing the case and BB pointed out the similarity of the placement of symbols on the keypad, I would certainly consider that while weighing the evidence. I've used both android and apple tablet type devices and their keyboards are quite different. Quite honestly, apples' is crap as far as I'm concerned, but some people like it.

      6. Levente Szileszky

        You are confused - patents NORMALLY reference other patents eg

        Sony Ericsson's 2004 patent

        is referencing

        MIcrosoft's 1998 patent

        which cites

        Apple's 1990 patent

        which in turn lists

        ITT's 1983 patent

        and so on.

        It's all up to the parties to sort it out - which, due to its stupid & arrogant investor, Type simply refused to do hence the lawsuit against them.

  3. wind

    I have a family member who used to work for the patent office. Once they've worked for a certain period of time, their job becomes invulnerable. It becomes almost impossible to fire them. My family member told me stories of how his friend there gained that status and practically did no work anymore. He approved everything that came to him. EVERYTHING. His boss tried to avoid routing him work and begged him to try to reject patents but to no success.

    This is the unfortunate reality of a broken system in our broken government that results in the countless expense we afford in taxes. There is a desparate need to tear down and rebuild the systems that operate our corrupt government.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      And your family member still calls that guy a friend ?

      Somebody needs to refresh his memory concerning what a JOB is. Preferably with a cluebat. Made of wood, obviously.

      1. Fluffy Bunny

        "Somebody needs to refresh his memory concerning what a JOB is. Preferably with a cluebat. Made of wood, obviously."

        You can't. That use of a bat has been patented.

  4. Darryl

    Hmmm, American company founded by American 'star' goes to American court over a patent owned by a foreign company.

    Can't see this ending well for BB.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: a patent owned by a foreign company.

      What foreign company? Haven't you heard? We regard Canada as the 51st through 60th states.*

      *Excludes Quebec for obvious reasons.

  5. Mark Dowling


    Ryan Seacrest is making cash by means of poor quality reproductions of others' work?

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