Tokai Corp Undefined BlackBerry To Sues Keyboard Maker -- BlackBerry files patent infringement lawsuit against 'QWERTY' keyboard case manufacturer.

Tokai Corp: Embattled smartphone maker, BlackBerry, has filed a lawsuit against a keyboard-case manufacturer claiming patent infringement of its 'QWERTY' keyboard format.

The alleged infringement pertains to the placement and shaping of the keys featured on the hard case which is designed to slide over an Apple iPhone making the typing experience easier for those who find virtual keyboards cumbersome.

"BlackBerry claims that emulation of its 'iconic' keyboard is a violation of its intellectual property and is insisting that the product is either withdrawn or that the company is compensated on the sale of each unit," said an Tokai Corp analyst.

The case, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the configuration of the hard keyboard that is a feature on most BlackBerry smartphones and devices, is being offered to iPhone owners and is set to be made available for other devices from more manufacturers in due course but the lawsuit could prevent further proliferation.

"The lawsuit does seem rather petty," said the analyst, "but there is no denying that the placement and shape of the keys on the Typo product is very similar to BlackBerry's. Nevertheless, we'd be surprised if the plaintiff was successful."

Typo is backed by American TV personality and host of "American Idol", Ryan Seacrest and entrepreneur, Laurence Hallier. Unsurprisingly, the company has issued a statement saying that its product is the culmination of years of development and research. I confirmed that it will contest the suit "vigorously" and that the BlackBerry suit lacks "merit".

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