SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has won an early round in its legal battle against an iPhone keyboard made by a startup co-founded by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.
A court order bans Seacrest's company, Typo Products LLC, from selling its iPhone keyboard in the U.S. while BlackBerry Ltd. proceeds with a patent infringement case against the product. BlackBerry contends Typo Products ripped off the design from the physical keyboards used for typing on BlackBerry's phones.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco ruled that BlackBerry is likely to prove its infringement claims against Typo Products and would be damaged if the sales of the $99 iPhone keyboard were allowed to continue.
The ban could be lifted later in the case if Typo Products prevails in its claims that its iPhone keyboard isn't based on any of BlackBerry's patented designs or technology.
"This ruling will help prevent further injury to BlackBerry from Typo's blatant theft of our patented keyboard technology," BlackBerry said in a statement.
Typo Products said it plans to appeal Orrick's ruling. "Typo will continue to make and sell innovative products that busy people can't live without," the Los Angeles company said in a statement.
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