Ryan Seacrest's Typo Products Seeks Order That BlackBerry Patents Aren't Valid

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By Edvard Pettersson

Feb. 19 -- Ryan Seacrest's Typo Products LLC asked a U.S. judge to find that BlackBerry Ltd. is seeking to enforce patents that are not valid in its lawsuit to block Typo from shipping a new iPhone case. (BlackBerry Ltd. v. Typo Products LLC, N.D. Cal., 3:14-cv-00023, complaint filed 1/3/14).

BlackBerry's patent claims are invalid because they do not comply with the legal requirements for patentability, Typo said in a request Feb. 18 in federal court in San Francisco for a ruling that the patents were not infringed.

One of the patents cannot be enforced, according to Typo's filing, because the inventors did not disclose to the Patent and Trademark Office that the Smith Corona Spell Mate 30 and the Smith Corona Spell Right 200 already included the patented design in 1988, before the BlackBerry patent was approved.

BlackBerry sued Los Angeles-based Typo on Jan. 3 and seeks a court order blocking sales of the $99 accessory, an external case for Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s with an integrated keyboard.

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 IDC. The company says it will suffer “irreparable harm” if sales of the Typo case isn't halted by the court.

Typo said Jan. 14 that it had sold all its initial inventory and that orders received before Jan. 12 would ship by the end of the month. New orders will go out at the end of February, the company said.

Seacrest, the radio and TV producer and host of “American Idol,” is founder of closely held Typo, according to the company's website.

Editors: Michael Hytha, Peter Blumberg

Text of the Typo answer and counterclaim is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/BlackBerry_Limited_v_Typo_Products_LLC_Docket_No_314cv00023_ND_Ca.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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