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Patent infringement case launched over keyboard case

Many successful companies began with an idea—some way of solving a problem that no one else has thought of before. In the United States, the creators of truly unique products and processes are rewarded with legal protections against people or companies who use these inventions without permission. These proprietary restrictions can be very beneficial; for example, Las Vegas’ thriving entertainment industry relies on the fact that creative works like music and choreography can be protected against unlicensed use. When proprietary rights are violated, the owners of patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and other forms of intellectual property have the right to sue any infringers.

A new iPhone keyboard case lies at the heart of a business dispute between smart phone giant BlackBerry and Typo, a Los Angeles startup company. Typo claims that this new product is born out of a desire to maximize the efficiency of the iPhone, which the company anecdotally claims is preferable to other smart phones in all functions except typing. BlackBerry alleges that the keyboard’s design is too similar to some of its own patented products, and has filed suit against Typo for patent infringement.

Inventions are often a representation of a lot of hard work on the part of a person or company. Intellectual property laws support the notion that such innovations are beneficial to everyone, and that inventors should be given legal protections to ensure their businesses can viably bring these ideas and products to market.

When a business chooses to resolve an intellectual property dispute by engaging in patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret litigation, it can be a complex process. However, it is a pivotal part of a legal framework that strives to reward inventors by providing them exclusive rights to the fruits of their labor.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “BlackBerry suing Typo, Ryan Seacrest’s iPhone keyboard case company,” Salvador Rodriguez, Jan. 3, 2014

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