Our pal CrackBerry Kevin takes a look at the Typo keyboard, which at this point is as famous for its IP infringement (erm, alleged) as it is its celebrity funder, Ryan "Don't call me Gosling" Seacrest.

Typo fits atop the iPhone and looks suspiciously like a BlackBerry keyboard. Or exactly like a BlackBerry keyboard. 

Just part of the fun that is CES.


Reader comments

Watch this: The blatant BlackBerry ripoff


I know sorry but I LOVE BB keyboard I had a blackberry bold 3 years ago believe me I loved it and used it a lot but then I went iOS and got used to it

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or Moto G

Ok, lol. So, then you know that BlackBerry keyboards don't suck, regardless of you switching ecosystems and becoming acclimated to a full-touch device.

And, no need to be sorry. I was just trying to be funny, is all.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

BB Keyboard is one of the best. In fact it is better than Palm and others with their keyboards. I used to own a BB and the ONLY and ONLY reason why I switched to Android is the lack of apps not because the BB is bad.

I'm not a big app user. But I do have the various Android markets app on my phone if one of my kids needs an app/entertain them. With that said, I did install Google Maps because I like how it tells me about businesses near by. Helps to know where the next gas station or McDonald's is when we are driving north to the cottage.

Posted via Android Central App on BlackBerry Z30

Does it actually suck, though? All I've seen said about it is that it's a BB keyboard ripoff (which it absolutely is), but nothing about its quality.

Sent from my iPhone

He said in the video that it was a good experience to type with it. The case looks solid for what it is. It would probably offer just as much protection as any other iPhone case.

If you've ever used a Blackberry keyboard then you know how great they are. If this case offers a near identical experience I'm sure it's good.

The keyboard has always been the number one thing I miss about my Bold.

Posted via Android Central App

I didn't know BB invented the QWERTY keyboard, no matter what scale size it is. So BB has a patent on all QWERTY keyboards I assume. Why didn't they start off by suing the D1 or original Nexus which were the first Android's with QWERTY keyboards? The Facebook phone that came out a while back also had a qwerty keyboard on the bottom that looked like a BB too except for the FB button on the bottom right of it. Didn't see them complaining about that.

I hate sticking up for anything apple related, but now that they are on hard times they are going to be pulling desperate measures,are we going to see some more patent cases now coming from them?

The "cut", spacing and design of the buttons is patented by BlackBerry, and rightfully so.
That said, I'd use a case like this on my devices, but I don't like the way the onscreen keyboard still pops up. From the videos I've seen of people using this the onscreen keyboard is right above the physical one, surely there's a way to prevent that, maybe not on ios..

In my opinion, Ryan Seacrest knew that this design was infringing Blackberry's keyboard patent (or prior art). He sees introducing this product as a win-win: If he wasn't sued by Blackberry, then he would have gotten away with ripping off their keyboard design. And, if he was sued by Blackberry (which he is), then he would reap the benefits of the publicity (free advertising). Now that he's being sued (and rightfully so), many people (possibly including myself) that would have known nothing about this keyboard do, in fact, know about it.

I heard about it before the suit.

The suit is bad for typo. Free publicity sure! But its not free, and may effect this startup.

And as somebody on cranberry said why would they call it typo that's like calling a car company vehicular homicide.


Posted from my Nexus 7(2013).

It doesn't infringe.
It is clearly different in type face used, physical key layout, physical structure is different. Most of all, its not a phone. Its a battery pack, and add on keyboard with unique characteristics.

Seacrest wins this law suit. Wait and see.

Blackberry has a patent on the shape of the keys and the use of frets a between layers of keys. Not exactly but near those exact words. It's the words that count not the fact that it's a case. Tech patents are pretty retarded but it is what it is

I believe they did.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

RIM no longer exists; it's called BlackBerry :)

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

Meh, this is just too old school. Why add unnecessary bulk to a device? Why not just buy a blackberry instead? This makes me so sad, no wonder they're getting sued over this.

This message was brought to you by the numbers 0 and 1

The thing that irks me is the fact you are covering up the fingerprint scanner on the 5s seems kinda dumb to me, unless you don't use it I suppose.


I think the dumb part is anyone actually using the fingerprint scanner.

Don't you know that thing is hopelessly insecure?

Google: apple firngerprint scanner hacked

The fingerprint scanner is not meant to stop dedicated hackers. It's meant to stop casual browsing of your phone by friends, family or coworkers.

Do you consider the 4-digit PIN unhackable? That's what the fingerprint scanner is meant to supplant.

Umm isn't BlackBerry Dead? Lol who gives a crap if someone uses the likes of there keyboard. I personally would love this for android. I know plenty of people who could use this. Plus this is proof iPhone is too small to type on comfortably.

Posted via Android Central App

who buys this crap?

i look at these videos of people pushing these keys with their nails and its so 1990's - no word prediction, no auto-filling, no auto-correct, no swipe???

add to that the bulk that is added to the phone and you take youself back to the 1980s.

Oh the irony.
Typo will be sued into oblivion for ripping off Blackberry. That means Typo will go bankrupt and then Blackberry will end up ripping off Typo.

This post and video infringes on what I want to see on my Android central site. If I wanted iPhone news, I'd go to iMore. If I wanted Blackberry news, I'd go to Crackberry. Where's the Android news in this post?

Childish fanboy writers thinking we give a sh*t everytime an Android competitor gets into trouble is what happened.

Posted via Android Central App

I bet that Seacrest guy is feeling a bit like a dummy for blowing a million bucks on a straight rip off. You think a million would have bought some originality....

Posted via Android Central App

How is typo as a company? I've never really heard about them until now

Sent from my Nexus 7 2013 or Moto G

A story about an Apple App/accessory infringing on BB design? Why the crack are we the readers at ANDROID Central subjected to this? If we care about either of these companies, we'll go to Crackberry or iMore!

Posted via Android Central App

What I don't get is everyone picks on the BlackBerry keyboard. They say no one really wants a physical keyboard, but clearly some people do. I can only assume they did their research and found enough Apple users interested in the keyboard. Either way, lawyers will make a pretty penny, and BlackBerry will get some licensing fee for the minority of iPhone users that want a keyboard. Hope the battery life is good on the keyboard!

Posted via Android Central App on BlackBerry Z30

At first I was kind of cynical with BlackBerry's claim of patent infringement because there's too much IP fighting these days. When he covered up the tops of both phones I actually thought the one that ended up being the Typo was the BlackBerry. So point well taken.

Sent via my Verizon Moto X

Patents expire after 14 years.. I'm guessing from how prehistoric it looks, that the patent is done.

wish they'd make more things like this for flagship phones. I still want a physical keyboard for my s4 but the slide out case they have is total sh*t.

Posted via Android Central App

Just like Samsung copied apple with a rectangle phone o:
Shocking. But they do look very simkiliar. I think they took inspiration because some people think blackberry has the best keyboard layout

Posted via Android Central App

Just like Samsung copied apple with a rectangle phone o:
Shocking. But they do look very simkiliar. I think they took inspiration because some people think blackberry has the best keyboard layout

Posted via Android Central App

Of your going to steal, do it from the best. My Tour was still the best keyboard I ever used on any mobile device. They are totally going to get sued though.

Posted via Android Central App