BlackBerry Wins Court Order Barring Sales by Typo - Bloomberg
BlackBerry Ltd. won a court order barring Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Products LLC from selling a $99 iPhone case after convincing a judge that Typo is probably infringing its patents.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said in a ruling today that BlackBerry is likely to prevail on its infringement claims and that Typo hasn’t made a strong challenge to the validity of the smartphone maker’s patents. Orrick also dismissed Typo’s concern that a temporary sales ban may put the company out of business.
In January, BlackBerry sued the Los Angeles company founded by the radio and TV producer and host of “American Idol,” alleging that Typo’s external case for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s infringes BlackBerry’s design and copies its inventions. BlackBerry, based in Waterloo, Ontario, sought a court order blocking sales of the case while the lawsuit proceeds.
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,” Kevin Johnson, BlackBerry’s lawyer, said at a March 21 hearing. BlackBerry would be irreparably harmed by lost sales of its smartphones and consumer confusion over the devices unless the sales are stopped, BlackBerry said.
BlackBerry has lost business to Apple and Google Inc.’s Android devices. Its share of the global smartphone market tumbled to just 1.7 percent in the third quarter from 4.1 percent a year earlier, according to research firm IDC.
Typo denied infringing patents or copying the BlackBerry keyboard design.
“BlackBerry’s problems are not related to Typo,” Olivier Taillieu, a Typo attorney, said at the March 21 hearing. “We don’t believe Typo is the reason for any loss of sales to BlackBerry.”
The case is BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) v. Typo Products LLC, 14-00023, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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