BlackBerry sues Ryan Seacrest startup Typo

BlackBerry sues Ryan Seacrest startup Typo
CNN
Consumer Alert

POSTED: Sunday, January 5, 2014 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Sunday, January 5, 2014 - 12:04pm

BlackBerry has found itself a new adversary: TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest.

BlackBerry has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Typo, a startup backed by "American Idol" host Seacrest that sells a $99 tactile keyboard which snaps on to Apple iPhones. Seacrest and marketing executive Laurence Hallier co-founded Typo.

The Typo Keyboard has been available for pre-order since the company debuted in December. The device is slated to come out later this month -- but not if BlackBerry can help it.

In a press release about the lawsuit, Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry's general counsel, called Typo "a blatant infringement against BlackBerry's iconic keyboard."

Zipperstein didn't stop there.

"We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations," he added.

We're only three days into 2014, and the Seacrest/Typo lawsuit is already the second bit of news about BlackBerry and celebrities this year. BlackBerry announced on Thursday that it will part ways with Alicia Keys, who served as the company's "creative director" for just twelve months. 

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