- Eko accuses Katzenberg’s Quibi of infringing on its patented technology
- Quibi unveiled “Turnstyle” tech at CES 2020
- Quibi accuses Eko of “campaign of threats and harassment”
Upcoming SVOD service Quibi has been sued by tech firm Eko over its “Turnstyle” technology that allows viewers to seamlessly switch between landscape and portrait viewing.
Quibi, which is due to launch in North America next month, took the wraps off its mobile viewing tech at CES in January. The patent pending Turnstyle technology lets viewers keep the image full screen whether in landscape or portrait mode.
Quibi launched a lawsuit against Israeli firm Eko earlier this week, but the latter has now launched a countersuit with the aim of shutting down the 6 April launch of SVoD Quibi, citing alleged “theft of Eko’s technology by Quibi”.
“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 US District Court.
Eko is seeking damages along with a “permanent injunctive relief” to protect its trade secrets and business interests.
Eko, formerly known as Interlude, is a media technology company that enables production and distribution of selectable, interactive multimedia videos. It was founded in 2010 by Israeli rock musician Yoni Bloch, who is currently CEO.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Bloch met with Quibi boss Jeffrey Katzenberg in 2017 to discuss an investment in Eko, long before the Dreamworks founder launched Quibi.
Eko also claims to have provided several unnamed Quibi employees – who it’s claimed previously worked at Snap - with details and code behind its technology.
Katzenberg and Quibi CEO Meg Whitman took wraps off the Turnstyle tech at CES, prompting Eko to send a letter to the founders alleging that the feature infringes on Eko’s intellectual property.
Quibi dismissed these claims and has taken the matter to court, accusing Eko of engaging in a “campaign of threats and harassment”.
“Our Turnstyle technology was developed internally at Quibi by our talented engineers and we have, in fact, received a patent for it,” Quibi said in a statement. “These claims have absolutely no merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them in court.”
The legal dispute is another setback for Quibi, which earlier this week announced it would axe its launch event amid the growing coronavirus threat. In a statement, Quibi said it still plans to launch its service on 6 April but it will not host a launch party.