What you need to know
- iPad keyboard maker Brydge has filed a lawsuit against Kickstarter project Libra.
- Libra is an iPad Pro Keyboard with trackpad.
- Brydge claims Libra is a "brazen" violation of a patent owned by Brydge.
Popular keyboard maker Brydge has filed a lawsuit against both the creator of Kickstarter project Libra and Kickstarter itself, over what it describes as a "brazen" violation of a patent owned by Brydge.
In an official press release Brydge said:
The Libra project on Kickstarter was launched on September 24, and has gained strong support from backers and widespread coverage across the media including The Verge who reviewed the device. The standout feature of Libra is the fact that it has a trackpad, enabling it to take advantage of the all-new mouse support in iPad OS.
In the lawsuit, Brydge pits Libra side-by-side with a prototype of its own codenamed 'Bilby', Brydge's own iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in trackpad. Manufacturing of that device is "weeks away" according to Nick Smith, Brydge co-founder and CEO.
Whilst Libra has some similarities to current Brydge models, when you put it side-by-side with the Bilby prototype, the two are almost a carbon copy. As The Verge notes:
Brydge hopes to begin selling its iPad keyboard with trackpad in January or February next year as a "beta" product, in part so that customers understand the limitations of the trackpad because of the rather basic nature of iPadOS' mouse support.
One of the challenges Brydge faces is identifying who actually makes the Libra keyboard, with a spokesperson admitting Brydge is "not certain" who manufactures it. The campaing is run by a brand by the name of "Sentis", of which almost no information exists. As per the report from The Verge:
Brydge had also sent a cease-and-desist letter to OGadget in September, after which it stopped selling the Libra on its own website. When contacted by The Verge, OGadget also told them that Sentis was no longer their client. Because of the confusion, Kickstarter is also named in the lawsuit. Brydge itself was a Kickstarter project in 2012.
Following news of the suit as reported by The Verge, comments in the last hour on the Kickstarter from the manufacturer gave the following statement to viewers:
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9