U.S. District Judge William Orrick has decided that the Typo keyboard case is definitely too BlackBerry-like, ordering that the device be banned from sale in a significant victory for the company formerly known as Research In Motion. Calling the similarities “unmistakeable”, the judge said that “BlackBerry has convincingly shown that BlackBerry’s keyboard designs are a key driver of demand and goodwill for BlackBerry phones.”
It’s a hammer blow for the Typo, a product backed by TV host Ryan Seacrest, which had offered iPhone users the opportunity to control their smartphone with a physical keyboard in return for a few extra inches in size. We weren’t too impressed when we had a look at the case in January, but now it seems that the chance to give the device a try has passed.
Typo Products LLC plans to appeal the decision and is keen to “continue to make and sell innovative products that busy people can’t live without” according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The $99 case only appeared at the start of this year and generated plenty of buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
As for BlackBerry, it has already hinted that it will be returning to the QWERTY-keyboard roots that first made it popular, so fighting down potential competition from Typo is an important step in that direction. In earnings results released this week, there were signs that the company had made progress in reversing its slide, though CEO John Chen said positive sales growth wouldn’t appear until at least 2015.