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American Idol host involved in patent infringement suit

While there isn't a sector of the business world that doesn't see litigation from time to time, it often seems like the technology sector is particularly prone to business disputes. In fact, in one of the more recent tech related disputes, smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry is reportedly suing a telephone company backed by famed "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest. Colorado readers may find the following blog about the recent business litigation between the two companies interesting.

The patent infringement lawsuit was filed in federal court by BlackBerry. The lawsuit is filed against Typo Products LLC, a startup company co-founded by the television celebrity. The lawsuit claims Typo made a keyboard for iPhones that illegally copies existing BlackBerry designs and technology.

While the keyboard at the center of the business dispute has not yet hit the market, Typo Products has already begun taking early orders for the device. The keyboard reportedly slips onto an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S to serve as a substitute keyboard for the touch screen built into phone. BlackBerry asked the court for unspecified damages and to stop Typo Products from selling the keyboards without first obtaining a licensing agreement from BlackBerry. While the hard keyboard was always central to the success of BlackBerry it is not the only Smartphone with a physical keyboard. Furthermore, the popularity of BlackBerry has waned significantly in recent years.

Winning and losing a patent infringement case for a startup technology company could mean the difference between bringing a product to market and closing the company's doors. With so much on the line it is vital for companies to work with attorneys experienced in the art of litigation and negotiation to settle such complex matters. At the end of the day the goal is to stay in business and make money. Without a product to sell, it can be hard to do either.

Source: Washington Post, "BlackBerry sues startup founded by Ryan Seacrest," Jan. 3, 2014

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