BlackBerry settlement allows Typo keyboards for iPads, not iPhones

Typo is banned from selling keyboards for devices with screen sizes smaller than 7.9 inches

Typo's keyboard is designed to slip on over Apple's iPhone.

Typo's keyboard is designed to slip on over Apple's iPhone.

BlackBerry has reached a settlement with Typo Innovations, which made an accessory keyboard for iPhones that the handset maker said infringed its patents.

Under the settlement announced Monday, Typo, which was co-founded by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, is barred from selling keyboards for devices with screen sizes smaller than 7.9 inches.

BlackBerry sued Typo in 2014 after the company released a keyboard that fit the iPhone 5 or 5S like a protective case; BlackBerry claimed the keyboard copied those found on its own handsets. The keyboard is one of the differentiating features that has made BlackBerry loyalists cling to their old-school smartphones.

The settlement, at least for now, effectively bars Typo from making keyboards for Apple's iPhones. The largest iPhone, the 6 Plus, has a screen size of 5.5 inches.

But Typo also makes keyboards for iPads, the current lineup of which all have screen size of at least 7.9 inches. Those keyboards can still be sold.

The settlement comes as BlackBerry works to cut costs in its devices business while trying to expand in new areas like business management services.

Typo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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