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(RealClear)   Blackberry decides to focus on a more profitable venture: patent trolling   (realclear.com) divider line 50
    More: Asinine, BlackBerry Ltd., Ryan Seacrest, iOS devices, companies of Canada, patent infringement lawsuits, patent infringements  
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5841 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jan 2014 at 8:29 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



50 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-04 08:34:51 PM  
BlackBerry sold iPhone cases?
 
2014-01-04 08:37:44 PM  
I don't see Blackberry as a patent troll. They actually make product. If Apple or Samsung is violating Blackberry patents, then they deserve to be dragged into litigation just like they have done to others. I figure Blackberry was one of the early innovators of cell phones so there is probably some merit to some of their claims.
 
2014-01-04 08:39:12 PM  
Besides, Microsoft makes several billion a year, I hear, on Android patents. Blackberry is probably just behind the game defending their turf.
 
2014-01-04 08:39:19 PM  
Naming your company after a synonym for 'mistake' seems like a bad idea.
 
2014-01-04 08:40:17 PM  
The keyboard keys look like duplicates of BlackBerry keyboards - key shape and feel is critical for accurate typing.

While it looks bogus, it isn't nearly as bogus as the various iPhone "rounded corners and bezel" patents.
 
2014-01-04 08:42:37 PM  
Sad... There was a time when these clowns were the high tech heroes of Ontario. Now I bet their own wives cross the street to avoid being seen with them. Its really too bad, as market diversity is a good thing and the more Google-vs-Apple it becomes, the shiattier it will get for users.
 
2014-01-04 08:45:44 PM  
I don't think subby knows what a patent troll is:

What a patent troll make look like:

techrights.org
 
2014-01-04 08:49:12 PM  
Whar crackberries!?

i.imgur.com

/Your keyboard uses Querty and is at the bottom of the phone, so obviously it will replace a Blackberry and be the final nail in the coffin
//Patent troll Blackberry is.
///I've patented wiping my arse with paper that comes off a roll. So pay me biatches!
 
2014-01-04 08:50:50 PM  
I did like that my old Blackberry Storm touchscreen made you slightly depress the screen to type. I screw up messages all the time on my current Samsung because it is so touch sensitive. I also liked the way it handled my MP3 music playlists. If I tried to put the same song twice in a playlist, it would ask me if I wanted it in there twice. I like listening to MP3 playlists off of my phone through earphones when working around the house or exercising. The only issue I had with it was it didn't have WiFi - if I remember correctly. I am not a big gamer, so that never was a problem with me. Not big on installing a bunch of apps.
 
2014-01-04 08:51:43 PM  
I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
gigaom2.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-04 09:03:15 PM  

JK8Fan: They actually make product. If Apple or Samsung is violating Blackberry patents, then they deserve to be dragged into litigation just like they have done to others.


i291.photobucket.com

^ Worse than that, it's a company owned by Ryan Seacrest.
 
2014-01-04 09:07:35 PM  
It's not trolling if somebody is actually violating their patent. And with the details the article provided it would seem that is the case.
 
2014-01-04 09:08:28 PM  

pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]


side by side yeah there's similarity. But there's only so much you can do with that little real estate with a keyboard. I suppose they could have gone Dvorak with it, but that'd go over with most consumers about as well as asking if they want a kick in the balls.

If Blackberry wanted to be taken seriously here, they should have gone apeshiat over other physical keyboard phones like the old sidekick and the Motorola Karma which also featured physical keyboards.
 
2014-01-04 09:13:42 PM  

Iczer: pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]

side by side yeah there's similarity. But there's only so much you can do with that little real estate with a keyboard. I suppose they could have gone Dvorak with it, but that'd go over with most consumers about as well as asking if they want a kick in the balls.

If Blackberry wanted to be taken seriously here, they should have gone apeshiat over other physical keyboard phones like the old sidekick and the Motorola Karma which also featured physical keyboards.


It isn't just about having a physical keyboard on a phone, their lawsuit is about them copying the design and technology of the Blackberyy keyboard. And just looking at the keyboard, it is an exact physical copy of the Blackberry design, the technology I don't know about. Just having a physical keyboard isn't a patent violation, having one that copies the design and the technology that makes it work, is.
 
2014-01-04 09:22:53 PM  

Iczer: pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]

side by side yeah there's similarity. But there's only so much you can do with that little real estate with a keyboard. I suppose they could have gone Dvorak with it, but that'd go over with most consumers about as well as asking if they want a kick in the balls.

If Blackberry wanted to be taken seriously here, they should have gone apeshiat over other physical keyboard phones like the old sidekick and the Motorola Karma which also featured physical keyboards.


They're suing over 3 patents: "Hand-held electronic device with a keyboard optimized for use with the thumbs,"  "Ramped-key keyboard for a handheld mobile communication device," and this design patent.  I'm not saying that it has to be a non-QWERTY keyboard, but there are plenty of ways to make a keyboard without mimicking BB.  Now, why you'd want you iPhone to look like some weird Blackberry knockoff is beyond me.
 
2014-01-04 09:32:00 PM  

ongbok: Iczer: pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]

side by side yeah there's similarity. But there's only so much you can do with that little real estate with a keyboard. I suppose they could have gone Dvorak with it, but that'd go over with most consumers about as well as asking if they want a kick in the balls.

If Blackberry wanted to be taken seriously here, they should have gone apeshiat over other physical keyboard phones like the old sidekick and the Motorola Karma which also featured physical keyboards.

It isn't just about having a physical keyboard on a phone, their lawsuit is about them copying the design and technology of the Blackberyy keyboard. And just looking at the keyboard, it is an exact physical copy of the Blackberry design, the technology I don't know about. Just having a physical keyboard isn't a patent violation, having one that copies the design and the technology that makes it work, is.


I don't know about the "technology" but the keyboards are not physically similar. They are both small qwerty keyboards but the lay out of the other keys is different.

Since this keyboard is an auxiliary device for a different device with a different operating system, I have to assume that they are not similar technology.

I see Blackberry losing this case.
 
2014-01-04 10:10:41 PM  
Clearly not a case of patent trolling.

Subby, however, is patently a troll.
 
2014-01-04 10:11:26 PM  
Did BlackBerry file in east Texas?
 
2014-01-04 10:27:55 PM  

scanman61: BlackBerry sold iPhone cases?


Hahax10000
 
2014-01-04 10:29:08 PM  

JK8Fan: I don't see Blackberry as a patent troll. They actually make product. If Apple or Samsung is violating Blackberry patents, then they deserve to be dragged into litigation just like they have done to others. I figure Blackberry was one of the early innovators of cell phones so there is probably some merit to some of their claims.


Yes, they invented the keypad. Wait, no, that was the guy that invented whatever came after the telegraph.
 
2014-01-04 10:38:58 PM  
That's what you get for graverobbing a little bit before the victim is completely dead.

*graaarrrr*  zombie lawyers from the Blackberry's grave

There is a (bad) song in there somewhere!
 
2014-01-04 10:50:18 PM  

pastorkius: Iczer: pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]

side by side yeah there's similarity. But there's only so much you can do with that little real estate with a keyboard. I suppose they could have gone Dvorak with it, but that'd go over with most consumers about as well as asking if they want a kick in the balls.

If Blackberry wanted to be taken seriously here, they should have gone apeshiat over other physical keyboard phones like the old sidekick and the Motorola Karma which also featured physical keyboards.

They're suing over 3 patents: "Hand-held electronic device with a keyboard optimized for use with the thumbs,"  "Ramped-key keyboard for a handheld mobile communication device," and this design patent.  I'm not saying that it has to be a non-QWERTY keyboard, but there are plenty of ways to make a keyboard without mimicking BB.  Now, why you'd want you iPhone to look like some weird Blackberry knockoff is beyond me.


They might win on the design patent, since the opposing scallops are very much a RIM researched-produced design.

img571.imageshack.us

img703.imageshack.us

What strikes me the most besides the scallops is that the Typo also puts a "homing bump" on the D key like blackberry does (it's difficult to see in the photo).  That's so you can find the center of the numeric keyboard when dialing.

They might not win, but it's not a frivilous patent troll case.  Typo obviously copied some aspects of the design straight from Blackberry.
 
2014-01-04 11:11:29 PM  

pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]


www.cellphonerepairtx.com

There's others that did something somewhat similar, though I admit the resemblance isn't quite as strong.  This was my first smartphone from about 10 years ago.
 
2014-01-04 11:14:32 PM  

JK8Fan: I don't see Blackberry as a patent troll. They actually make product. If Apple or Samsung is violating Blackberry patents, then they deserve to be dragged into litigation just like they have done to others. I figure Blackberry was one of the early innovators of cell phones so there is probably some merit to some of their claims.


Motorola was an early innovator in cell phones (and also innovated the lawsuit).  Sony was an early innovator in cell phones.  LG was an early innovator in cell phones.  Blackberry was an early innovator in pushing short messages and e-mail to stand alone devices.  Its cell phone technology has always blown.  Its user interface has always sucked.  The only thing it had was security and Apple and Samsung have taken away that advantage.
 
2014-01-04 11:29:01 PM  
The part where i think it is a fail is the fact is that it is a case, not a whole phone. If you look at it without an I phone in it, it will show a huge disparity that could be a factor in a trial. A picture is worth a thousand words....

Won't stop me from trolling my favorite BB site though...
 
2014-01-04 11:32:38 PM  

MrEricSir: JK8Fan: They actually make product. If Apple or Samsung is violating Blackberry patents, then they deserve to be dragged into litigation just like they have done to others.

[i291.photobucket.com image 280x210]

^ Worse than that, it's a company owned by Ryan Seacrest.


I came here to say that
 
2014-01-05 12:19:12 AM  
worked for rambus
 
2014-01-05 12:20:47 AM  
Sigh....when you can't compete, litigate?
 
2014-01-05 12:27:18 AM  

Nightjars: pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]

[www.cellphonerepairtx.com image 400x400]

There's others that did something somewhat similar, though I admit the resemblance isn't quite as strong.  This was my first smartphone from about 10 years ago.


One example of keyboard design
Notice that that the phone in your image has all of the keys slightly oblong to the upper right.  BB (and Typo), however, have keys that are oblong in the direction facing each thumb, making each key wider in the direction facing the appropriate thumb, and therefore making it easier to type.  Laugh if you want, there are real mechanical and human-interaction studies that go into making a good keyboard.   I interned at RIM back in the day, and there were people whose whole job was to study how to make a good keyboard.

(Aside: I do think this is nothing more than RIM desperately grabbing for cash, but I do think they have a case)
 
2014-01-05 12:41:45 AM  

Lsherm: opposing scallops


Opposing Scallops is probably the correct technical term for the current key design.  Consider that shape compared to the older BBs (which are what I worked on), which really are just oblong in each direction. Somebody in Waterloo devoted his life to the shape of those keys...

img.fark.net
 
2014-01-05 12:48:21 AM  

Mantour: I don't think subby knows what a patent troll is:

What a patent troll make look like:

[techrights.org image 480x614]


Never forget-
transition.fcc.gov

Tool Of The Century
 
R3
2014-01-05 01:05:46 AM  
The moment I saw Typo keyboard picture, I knew BlackBerry was going to sue.

As Naritai mentioned, Blackberry actually has a patent on this particular keyboard design, down to the metallic lines between the rows.  A lot of effort has been put to make it this way.

When Z10 was launched (for uninitiated: Z10 is full-screen phone, with no physical keyboard), BlackBerry actually made sure the on-screen keyboard layout looked *exactly* like the physical one and went through the pains to convey that to the Bold and Curve crowd (they were mostly not successful convincing people to get new BB10s, but that's a different story)

dash.coolsmartphone.com

What I don't understand is why Typo guys had to copy *this* exact design, down to the "scalloping" of the keys.
There are literally thousands of ways to make a QWERTY keyboard, why it had to be this one?
 
2014-01-05 01:22:11 AM  
R3:
There are literally thousands of ways to make a QWERTY keyboard, why it had to be this one?

The most logical conclusion, and the reason that BB has a case, is that Typo is targeting BB converts who moved to iPhone to stay hip but secretly miss the physical keyboard.  Honestly, can you think of any others?
 
R3
2014-01-05 01:51:23 AM  

Naritai: R3:
There are literally thousands of ways to make a QWERTY keyboard, why it had to be this one?

The most logical conclusion, and the reason that BB has a case, is that Typo is targeting BB converts who moved to iPhone to stay hip but secretly miss the physical keyboard.  Honestly, can you think of any others?


Well, that much is obvious...:)

Seacreast himself said in one interview that he joined this venture partly out of his frustration when he switched from BB to iPhone - on one hand he had an aging phone with no apps, but great keyboard, on the other he had phone with all the apps, but no keyboard.....or something along those lines.
 
R3
2014-01-05 01:53:50 AM  
BTW subby, ever heard of Wikipedia?

"Patent troll is a person or company who enforces  rights against accused in an attempt to collect, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question, thus engaging in economic rent seeking"

Ok, now try to fit BlackBerry's actions in this definition.
 
2014-01-05 01:57:46 AM  
You know what's infuriating? Linking to sites that auto send you to the app store to buy candy crush after 10 seconds.

Yeah I know, welcome to fark.
 
2014-01-05 02:25:59 AM  
As someone who did Blackberry connectivity support 10 years ago, all I can say is this:

DIE, BLACKBERRY! DIE! HELL IS TOO GOOD FOR YOU!
 
2014-01-05 02:28:08 AM  
Merits of the case aside, Blackberry phones are horrible. At least the one I had to carry (provided by former employer, a little over a year ago) next to my Android was utter garbage.

The best thing about it is, I got and read my emails on the personal phone, anybody who I actually needed to speak with to accomplish my job had my personal number and called it first, so I knew if that piece of garbage rang, it was going to be a waste of time from the corporate office.

Other than that, the little buttons for the keypad were made for a toddler's fingers, the UI was garbage, and it had major stability issues. Bonus: a low-end Droid had better specs at that time, while costing less.

Glad the current company just comps my cell phone bill.
 
2014-01-05 02:38:10 AM  
This is probably one the most legitimate patent lawsuit in a decade.

That said, I miss an actual keyboard on my smart phone.  I used to have a Treo and could rally jam on their little circular keys that had actual spacing between each of them.  I could type with both thumbs at a speed I cannot come near matching on my touchscreen phone, and I was a lot more accurate.

The physical keyboard was the reason I held onto my Treo for so long after everyone switched to touch screens.  I kept holding out hope that one of the touch screen phones would be produced with a physical keyboard that would slide out from underneath the touchscreen when held in a portrait mode.  The closest phone to that was the BlackBerry Bold, but I hated the smaller screen, not to mention their OS.
 
2014-01-05 03:21:03 AM  
Intellectual property is a purely human invention designed to increase profit motive and is based on the belief that a person can own an idea after it has been shared.  We do a lot of silly things.
 
2014-01-05 05:03:27 AM  

Naritai: Lsherm: opposing scallops

Opposing Scallops is probably the correct technical term for the current key design.  Consider that shape compared to the older BBs (which are what I worked on), which really are just oblong in each direction. Somebody in Waterloo devoted his life to the shape of those keys...

[img.fark.net image 275x183]


I'm not sure if you're calling me out as wrong,but I'm certainly correct, and so is RIM - that key design is on purpose, serves a purpose, and has been copied without attribution.

Blackberry spent enormous money to develop keyboards executives would use, and copying it for an iPhone is theft.
 
2014-01-05 06:42:45 AM  
Not a patent troll.

Another false headline goes green by sucking up to Drew.

Sad.
 
2014-01-05 08:07:38 AM  
Out patent system is farked.

It's a querty keyboard.  The opportunity to have a patent on a qwerty keyboard should have run out in the 1890s, there should not have been any patent issued on one in more than a hundred years.
 
2014-01-05 08:52:51 AM  

JeffreyScott: This is probably one the most legitimate patent lawsuit in a decade.


Whatever one thinks of the Apple rounded-corners lawsuit, this is at least as legitimate as that.
 
2014-01-05 09:31:42 AM  
Derivative work of a 19th century invention.

Seriously, patenting the way something looks has to be one of the stupidest abuses of patent law going.
 
2014-01-05 09:36:16 AM  
Lsherm:

Blackberry spent enormous money to develop keyboards executives would use, and copying it for an iPhone is theft.

It's too bad that instead they just didn't spend that money developing phones that don't suck ass. I dropped Blackberry after they screwed me with the Storm. Been much much happier with my HTC android phone. Won't go back to Blackberry unless they stop telling customers what they want and listen to what the customers are asking for.
 
2014-01-05 02:28:31 PM  

DarkVader: Out patent system is farked.

It's a querty keyboard.  The opportunity to have a patent on a qwerty keyboard should have run out in the 1890s, there should not have been any patent issued on one in more than a hundred years.


It's not over the fact that it's querty, dipshiat. I suppose in your world, even bluetooth wireless media keyboards would be unpatentable.

That said, I hope many BB product managers are headdesking now that they realize they could have made good money selling BlackBerry-branded keyboards for other devices. They should have had one for the Z10, too, and maybe it would have actually sold.

I sure miss mine, I could actually write without having to look at it. Of course I miss absolutely nothing else about it.
 
2014-01-05 03:47:39 PM  

Naritai: R3:
There are literally thousands of ways to make a QWERTY keyboard, why it had to be this one?

The most logical conclusion, and the reason that BB has a case, is that Typo is targeting BB converts who moved to iPhone to stay hip but secretly miss the physical keyboard.  Honestly, can you think of any others?


Also the fact that it is the best cell phone keyboard on the market.

DarkVader: It's a querty keyboard.  The opportunity to have a patent on a qwerty keyboard should have run out in the 1890s, there should not have been any patent issued on one in more than a hundred years.


I mean, there is no difference between a QWERT keyboard from the 1870s and one on a Blackberry, right?

There a design elements that RIM came up with that are novel and should be defensible.
 
2014-01-05 06:10:11 PM  
Now they go full circle and become a truly Canadian company.
 
2014-01-05 06:13:38 PM  

Nightjars: pastorkius: I don't know how much of a troll this is; it bears slightly more than a passing resemblance in form and presumably function:
[gigaom2.files.wordpress.com image 651x462]

[www.cellphonerepairtx.com image 400x400]

There's others that did something somewhat similar, though I admit the resemblance isn't quite as strong.  This was my first smartphone from about 10 years ago.


Every single keys shift function is the same with the exception of ^P which is @ on the blackberry and % on the typo and ^$ which is volume on the blackberry and = on the typo.

I can't think of a single other phone keyboard out there that exactly copies the key function and shift-key function of another phone. I have both an iphone and a blackberry and I'd much rather type on the blackberry the key shape makes it much easier to type with less typos.

I'd say they have a case with the patent for key shape, maybe for the nearly exact copy of key function, but I doubt anything for the design.
 
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