Typo iPhone keyboard

The Typo keyboard attaches to a touchscreen iPhone to give the device a physical keyboard to type on. ((Typo Products LLC))

BlackBerry Ltd. has won a preliminary injunction barring sales of TV host Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Products LLC's smartphone attachment that gives an iPhone a keyboard similar to a BlackBerry smartphone.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said BlackBerry had a “likelihood” of proving the $99 US physical keyboard contravenes two of the smartphone maker's patents.

BlackBerry filed suit against the company in January after hearing about the product, which aims to copy its popular style of keyboard.  The Typo keypad  attaches to the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, replacing the touchscreen system.

The judge rejected Typo’s contention that BlackBerry isn’t irreparably harmed by Typo’s actions because it’s already struggling and “has limited goodwill to lose.”

Earnings results released Friday show CEO John Chen is making progress in restoring BlackBerry’s profitability, but his prediction of flat sales for the 2014 fiscal year hurt the Waterloo, Ont.-based company’s share price.

BlackBerry is seeking unspecified damages from Typo Products over the keyboard design. The ruling includes a requirement that BlackBerry post a bond to cover any damages Typo might suffer from the sale ban, in case a later ruling reverses it.

Los Angeles-based Typo, co-founded by entrepreneur Laurence Hallier and American Idol host Seacrest, said it was disappointed by the decision but plans to appeal it.