As expected, Michael Arrington and TechCrunch have filed a federal lawsuit against Fusion Garage, over the hotly contested CrunchPad/JooJoo web-tablet project. The lawsuit – which you can see here – accuses Fusion Garage of “violation of the Lanham Act, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of business ideas, fraud and deceit, and unfair competition” and cites not only correspondence between the two organizations but content from Fusion Garage’s now-deleted blog. Arrington also runs through eight other points, including a passing spank to other blogs that “link to the [JooJoo] pre-sale site without disclosing [Fusion Garage’s financial situation] to readers”.
He also addresses some of Fusion Garage CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan’s statements during the JooJoo webcast earlier this week, in which his former friend claimed TechCrunch has no IP claim for the touchscreen tablet. In actual fact, Arrington counters, he personally created “the entire blueprint” of the CrunchPad, while Pegatron own “much of the key intellectual property, including the board and much of the mechanicals”.
“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. Their direct work on the project was crucial to its success, and the device would not be finished without their work” Michael Arrington, TechCrunch
Arrington believes Fusion Garage may have given Pegatron’s IP to a new ODM manufacturing partner – the two companies are not collaborating on manufacturing of the JooJoo. The likelihood of the JooJoo – which is meant to go up for pre-sales today, priced at $499 and with initial deliveries in 4-8 weeks – reaching customers’ hands seems ever more unlikely.