Research in Motion, (RIM) the design gurus behind the very popular BlackBerry phones, have partnered up with keyboard and hardware design company Eatoni Ergonomics Inc. to develop a slick new keyboard interface. The terms of the deal: Eatoni will grant RIM license(s) to use its technology. In return for such generous sharing, RIM has made an equity investment in Eatoni.
Ironically, this buddy system development play stems from bad blood between the two companies. A previous lawsuit and the inevitable counter-suit related to patent infringement. Both sides attested that the other had incorporated patented technology into their own designs. Through court arbitration, it became clear the two tech firms could make more money with each other than against each other, and the rest is history.
Both companyâ€™s claims have been mutually dismissed, and any further details have been kept secret. We can only hope that future input innovations have better monikers than the precisely if not attractively named QWERTY keyboards found on many popular mobile devices.