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Quibi Still in Legal Trouble Over Turnstyle Tech Despite Roku Deal

Stephanie Sengwe

Roku may have acquired Quibi’s robust library of content, but they certainly did not take on the former streamer’s innovative Turnstyle technology and rightfully so. According to Variety, Quibi is still battling Eko over a patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit the latter filed against the streaming service.

Eko first took Quibi to court last March, claiming they demonstrated a “horizontal-to-vertical video technology” for Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg during an investment meeting back in 2017. Katzenberg decided to pass on the investment and later went onto file a patent on Turnstyle in 2019.

Additionally, Eko also claimed that “several months in 2017 and 2018” they met with three Snap employees over a possible integration of Snapchat and Eko. Those employees went on to join Quibi — two moved to the streamer in October of 2018 and the third went in spring 2019.

Now, unsealed documents show that a ruling on the case made on Dec. 30, “denied Eko’s motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to freeze Quibi’s financial assets, finding that ‘Eko has not shown it will more likely than not succeed on its [patent] infringement claims,’” Variety reports.

Nonetheless, the presiding judge, Christina Snyder of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, found there may be some validity to Eko’s claims especially when it comes to the former Snapchat employees. “The Court agrees that the weight of circumstantial evidence is sufficient at this stage to suggest the Snapchat-turned-Quibi employees took the ORTS method [Eko’s Optimized Real Time Switching technology] with them to Quibi and used it to assist with the development of Turnstyle,” Snyder wrote in her ruling.

The judge now requires Quibi “to inform the court and Eko of any sale or transfer of technology or intellectual property assets or within 48 hours of determining to take such an action. Quibi also is required to notify both the court and Eko at least 60 days in advance of any distribution of funds or assets to Quibi’s investors,” according to Variety.

Eko has previously claimed that the allegedly stolen IP is valued at, at least $96.5 million.

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