Just like Quibi’s turnstyle feature will let you flip your phone seamlessly from vertical to horizontal while watching the upcoming Punk’d revival and more, tech firm Eko on Tuesday flipped the script on the Jeffrey Katzenberg-founded streamer with a lawsuit of its own.
Coming one day after Quibi sued the Israeli company in federal court, Eko today filed a suit to shut down the April 6 launch of the well-founded Meg Whitman-run mobile streamer.
“This is a case to stop the theft of Eko’s technology by Quibi, alleging a civil action for patent infringement under the patent laws of the United States, and misappropriation of trade secrets under the Defend Trade,” said Eko’s Goodwin Procter lawyers in a 22-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court (read it here). “Because Eko’s remedy at law is inadequate, Eko seeks, in addition to damages, permanent injunctive relief to recover and protect its trade secrets and other legitimate business interests,” the jury-seeking suit adds.
Going into great detail in the suit of ex-Snapchat staffers who moved over to Quibi and are alleged to have brought the notion of the turnstyle tech with them after an Eko demonstration, the plaintiffs today also claimed again that they filed for a patent for the horizontal-to-vertical video technology in 2015. They say that Quibi did not file for a patent covering the same technology until May 2019, which Eko said came after “a confidential demo by Eko of the technology to key Quibi top executives, including some of Quibi’s so-called patent inventors and Quibi chairman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg.”
Katzenberg has previously said he has little memory of the meeting in question, throwing shade on its significance.
Quibi had no comment Tuesday on the lawsuit, except to refer to its statement of yesterday. “Our Turnstyle technology was developed internally at Quibi by our talented engineers and we have, in fact, received a patent for it,” the company said after Eko filed a complaint with the Apple App store. “These claims have absolutely no merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them in court.”
Yes, that’s true – either way you look at it.
Even though they canceled their big April 5 red-carpet event due to concerns over the coronavirus, Quibi is still set to debut April 6 with a lineup of 51 shows to be available at launch from creators including Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Chance the Rapper, Liam Hemsworth, Sophie Turner, Lena Waithe, Nicole Richie and Reese Witherspoon and shows including Survive, Most Dangerous Game, Thanks a Million, Chrissy’s Court, Murder House Flip, Last Night’s Late Night, The Replay by ESPN and others.
The mainly mobile platform is offering a 90-day free trial to those who sign up on its website before April 6. Regular monthly pricing is set at $4.99 (with ads) and $7.99 (no ads). Having just secured another funding round, Quibi plans to release 175 original shows and 8,500 episodes in its first year.