Blackberry — which recently celebrated the notable achievement of a zero percent marketshare in the smartphone space — has turned into a patent troll now. In suing Ryan Seacrest’s Typo iPhone Keyboard case (which gives the iPhone a physical QWERTY style keyboard which can be slide onto the screen when necessary) now claims that it is a “deliberate” copy of Blackberry that violates three patents.
BlackBerry Ltd. argued that Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Products LLC copied its keyboard before a judge who said two of the Canadian smartphone maker’s three patents in the case appear to be valid. Kevin Johnson, a lawyer for BlackBerry, told U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick in San Francisco today that Typo’s copying in the design of an external case for Apple Inc.’s iPhone was “intentional and deliberate.” The similarities between Typo’s iPhone case, which has a keypad that attaches to the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s to allow users to easily tap out messages, and the keyboard for BlackBerry’s Q10 smartphone are “unmistakable,” Johnson said. BlackBerry, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is seeking a court order blocking Typo from selling the $99 case. Typo has shipped at least 4,000 cases since January, the company said in court filings.