Typo

Typo is an iPhone case that includes a physical keyboard. (Typo)

  • Also
  • BlackBerry shocker: Buyout deal falls apart; Heins out as CEO BlackBerry shocker: Buyout deal falls apart; Heins out as CEO
  • BlackBerry CEO John Chen outlines 'the way forward' BlackBerry CEO John Chen outlines 'the way forward'
  • Obama says he can't use iPhone due to security, must use BlackBerry Obama says he can't use iPhone due to security, must use BlackBerry

BlackBerry is kicking off 2014 by suing Typo, an iPhone keyboard case company partly funded by TV celebrity Ryan Seacrest.

The Canadian tech company announced the lawsuit Friday, saying Typo is blatantly copying its hardware and infringing on its patents.

Typo made headlines last month after it was reported that Seacrest invested more than $1 million in the company. The company has been taking $99 preorders for its iPhone cases and is set to begin shipping them out this month. The keyboard on the Typo case resembles the physical keyboards found on many BlackBerry smartphones.

PHOTOS: Top 10 tech fails of 2013

Typo's about page says: "The Typo Keyboard was born out of a desire for efficiency. For several years, many of our friends and colleagues carried two phones: one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else."

Although Typo doesn't name the other smartphone, it's pretty obvious it's referencing BlackBerry, especially since Seacrest is known for using both an iPhone and a BlackBerry.

"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,” said BlackBerry General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein in a statement.

Typo could not be reached for comment.

ALSO:

Best Buy selling iPhone 5c for free, others at discount

AT&T willing to give T-Mobile customers $450 in credit to switch

Facebook sued over alleged scanning of users' private messages