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BlackBerry fires another legal salvo at Ryan Seacrest's Typo keyboard for iPhone

Redesigning its flagship product has not been enough to keep Typo out of BlackBerry's line of fire, as the Canadian smartphone maker has once again filed suit alleging that the second-generation Typo "slavishly copied" BlackBerry's own keyboard designs.




"Just as they did with the Typo Keyboard, Defendants have again copied numerous proprietary BlackBerry designs and patents in the Typo2 Keyboard," BlackBerry's complaint, first noted by the Hollywood Reporter, reads. "The Typo2 Keyboard still blatantly copies BlackBerry's iconic keyboard trade dress designs that have been embodied in numerous BlackBerry smartphones from the 2007 BlackBerry 8800 to the current Q10 and Classic models."

BlackBerry also accuses the Typo 2 of infringing utility patents related to backlighting and "typing automation technologies."

Typo launched the second-generation unit last summer after a federal judge banned sales of Typo's original iPhone keyboard in March. That injunction resulted from a lawsuit in which BlackBerry called Typo "a blatant infringement against BlackBerry's iconic keyboard."

BlackBerry is "flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones," General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein said when announcing the initial suit, "but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations."

Typo, backed by entertainment mogul Ryan Seacrest, continued to sell the first-generation accessory despite the ban, a move which earned the company a near-$1 million fine earlier this month. At the time, a Typo spokesperson said that the fine had "no impact" on the Typo 2.