BlackBerry Ltd. has settled its legal battles with a company co-founded and financed by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker said on Monday it has settled its "outstanding legal disputes" with Typo Products LLC and related companies over allegations that Typo ripped off BlackBerry's trademark mini-keyboard with its accessory for Apple's iPhone.
Los Angeles-based Typo has agreed to stop selling anywhere in the world smartphone keyboards and mobile devices with a screen size of less than 7.9 inches (20.1 centimetres), BlackBerry said.
Other terms of the settlement are confidential, BlackBerry said in a news release.
BlackBerry revived a 2014 lawsuit in February, alleging in a U.S. federal court in California that a second-generation Typo keyboard case introduced in December called the Typo2 – after BlackBerry won a preliminary injunction last year against its first iteration – still copied the "iconic" BlackBerry keyboard.
The court in February ordered Typo to pay BlackBerry $860,600 in sanctions for violating the injunction.
The Typo2 feature – which sold for between $79 (U.S.) and $99, depending on the iPhone model – snapped onto an iPhone and provided a physical keyboard that replaced the touch-screen version.
"Just as they did with the Typo Keyboard, Defendants have again copied numerous proprietary BlackBerry designs and patents in the Typo2 Keyboard," the complaint alleged.
The design patents and elements that "blatantly" knocked off BlackBerry's keyboard included design and backlighting features as well as so-called "fret" bars separating rows of keys.
Mr. Seacrest launched Typo in 2013 with entrepreneur Laurence Hallier; the latter was named in the second suit but not Mr. Seacrest.
BlackBerry is in turnaround mode after getting badly beaten up in the smartphone wars. It is now focused on security-oriented software and sales to enterprise customers.