UPDATE, 9:24 AM: Fox put out a statement today in response to the trade libel lawsuit FilmOn filed against them Thursday:
Although we have not seen the suit we welcome the opportunity to let the court determine the legitimacy of Mr. David’s business practices.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:05 PM: FilmOn has countersued Fox Broadcasting Co. and the Fox Television Stations in their continuing legal fight over streaming network programming to mobile devices. FilmOn says it is the licenser and partner in the streaming TV technology behind Alki David’s BarryDriller.com and Aereokiller. The technology uses “mini-antennas” to transmit TV signals to mobile devices. This is similar to the process used by Barry Diller’s Aereo service. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have already sued Aereokiller separately. The countersuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here) charges that “Fox has separated from the coalition of other networks … and taken steps — legal and illegal — to put FilmOn out of business”.
Accusing Fox of trade libel, FilmOn’s suit claims that Fox’s Los Angeles counsel contacted FilmOn’s various potential business partners to “inform” them that FilmOn’s apps violate a federal court injunction against distribution of streaming apps. The potential partners include Apple, Google and Microsoft. Additionally the suit says Fox’s counsel told the potential partners that distribution of the apps would be aiding copyright infringement. FilmOn asserts “Fox knew that these statements were false” but “intentionally and misleadingly” withheld that the injunction they cited actually was against a different technology than FilmOn’s apps. A federal judge in New York ruled in July that the Aereo mini-antenna technology similar to FilmOn’s did not appear to violate copyright law. FilmOn has submitted its apps to Apple, Google and Microsoft to offer for sale or download to their customers. FilmOn seeks compensatory damages, restitution, court costs and a court order barring further unlawful contact with retailers, partners or customers.