Seacrest’s Typo Seeks Order BlackBerry Patents Invalid

Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Products LLC asked a U.S. judge to find that BlackBerry Ltd. is seeking to enforce patents that aren’t valid in its lawsuit to block Typo from shipping a new iPhone case.

BlackBerry’s patent claims are invalid because they don’t comply with the legal requirements for patentability, Typo said in a request yesterday in federal court in San Francisco for a ruling that the patents aren’t infringed.

One of the patents can’t be enforced, according to Typo’s filing, because the inventors didn’t 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.

The case is BlackBerry Ltd. v. Typo Products LLC, 14-00023, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.