Brydge plans iPad keyboard case with trackpad, slaps patent lawsuit on rival

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Brydge Pro+ prototypes
Prototype units show the 11- and 12.9-inch versions of the upcoming Brydge Pro+.
Photo: Brydge

Brydge today pre-announced a clip-on iPad Pro keyboard that incorporates a trackpad, something that only became possible with the just-released iPadOS 13. This would create a computer like a MacBook with a removable touchscreen.

It’s not the first such accessory to be unveiled, but Brydge is bringing a patent-infringement lawsuit against a company that last month launched a Kickstarter campaign for a similar iPad keyboard case with trackpad.

Brydge‘s hinge/clip is patented

The Brydge keyboard case originated back in 2012, and even then was designed around a hinge mechanism that also functioned as a clip to hold a tablet. The many models the company has introduced since then have also employed this hinge/clip, for which it owns a patent.

Last month, Sentis launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Libra, which uses a design that is similar enough to Brydge’s for a patent-infringement lawsuit to been filed.

“As detailed in the legal filing against Sentis (OGadget), we feel the Libra product directly infringes our patent in both form and function and we will ensure our legal rights are fully protected,” said Nick Smith, co-CEO and founder of Brydge.

The lawsuit also names Kickstarter “for facilitating the sale of the Libra keyboard,” according to the accessory maker.

Brydge Pro+ with Trackpad on the way

Those eager for an iPad Pro case with a keyboard and trackpad need look no further than Brydge, as it plans to add a trackpad to a clip-on keyboard it introduced earlier this year.

“In the coming weeks Brydge will be announcing release plans for the Brydge Pro+ that will launch, and ship in mid Q1 2020,” the company revealed today. This uses the essentially the same design for an iPad keyboard case with trackpad that the company started showing in November 2018.

The company has developed prototypes for both 11- and 12.9-inch versions. There’s no word yet on pricing.