Michael Arrington of TechCrunch has filed a federal lawsuit against Fusion Garage over a disputed Internet tablet known as JooJoo.
The suit – filed in a Northern California District Court – accuses Fusion Garage of fraud and deceit, misappropriation of business ideas and unfair competition.
“This was the first time I’ve ever filed a lawsuit, and it was certainly not the way I thought the whole CrunchPad project would end when I first wrote about the idea in July 2008,” Michael Arrington wrote in an official TechCrunch post.
“A few people have suggested that we can’t own any IP in the CrunchPad because we are just a blog. That’s not correct. The entire blueprint of the device was created by me. And we also have hired direct resources, including the former head of hardware at Vudu, as well as very high level software engineers, who have worked directly on the project here and in Singapore with the Fusion Garage team.”
According to Arrington, much of the key intellectual property – including the board and much of the mechanicals – is owned by Pegatron, the manufacturing arm of Asus.
??”Pegatron was licensing this IP back to the project exclusively. Fusion Garage is no longer working with Pegatron, they’ve hired a new ODM. They have likely given Pegatron’s IP to the new ODM to speed development. Pegatron has expressed concern to us about this, and I would not be surprised if they sued Fusion Garage separately over this issue,” claimed Arrington.
Unsurprisingly, Fusion Garage CEO Chandrasekar “Chandra” Rathakrishnan vehemently disagreed with Arrington’s claims.
“The JooJoo tablet – including the hardware and UI – was built and designed by Fusion Garage. We have been working on [this device] since February 2008,” Chandra told TG Daily. “Remember, TechCrunch originally wanted to acquire Fusion Garage, but that didn’t happen. [It is also worth noting] that [Arrington’s] original [CrunchPad] price point of $200 was utterly unrealistic. In fact, it was little more than a hallucination.” ?
The JooJoo pad is currently priced at $500 and can be pre-ordered here starting at midnight, December 11th.
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