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Eko Threatens Quibi With Injunction Over Turnstyle Technology Before Big Launch

Stephanie Sengwe

Quibi’s big launch has been riddled with some unfortunate events. After having to cancel their red carpet event, which was slated for April 5, due to coronavirus concerns, the company is now being threatened with an injunction from Eko— an interactive-video company — over its Turnstyle technology.

During a keynote session at CES 2020 in Las Vegas back in January, Tom Conrad, Quibi’s chief product officer, announced that the service will come with a new innovation called Turnstyle when it launches on April 6. Turnstyle allows for seamless fullscreen viewing whether the consumer is holding their phone in landscape or portrait mode.

However, things took a turn last month when the streamer had to file a lawsuit hoping to pacify Eko over claims that Quibi infringed a patent they hold over a similar technology.

Now, it seems Eko is taking their claims to the next level by filing an injunction against the streamer, mere days before its official launch. According to Deadline, a filing made on behalf of Eko on April 1 stated, “Plaintiff JBF Interlude 2009 Ltd. – Israel seeks a preliminary injunction enjoining Defendant Quibi Holdings LLC from misappropriating Eko’s proprietary technology for mobile device optimized ‘Real Time Switching.’ This trade secret technology, which is a critical part of Eko’s technology platform, had been shared with Quibi employees under multiple non-disclosure agreements.”

For their part, Quibi is maintaining their original position, saying that Turnstyle is something their engineers created in-house. “Our Turnstyle technology was developed internally at Quibi by our talented engineers and we have, in fact, received a patent for it,” a spokeswoman for the streaming service previously stated. “These claims have absolutely no merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them in court.”

Eko, however, believes not only do they have a solid case, but that it will be a sure winner in court. “Eko is likely to succeed on the merits of its claim brought under the Defend Trade Secrets Act,” reads a motion advocating for why Judge John A. Kronstadt should issue the injunction order soon. “Eko is suffering, and will continue to suffer, irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is not issued.”

Quibi (short for quick bites) is set to launch on April 6 and will focus on high-quality short form content that is designed to be watched on your smartphone. The mobile streaming streaming will offer two plans — $4.99 with ads and $7.99 without ads. The ad-supported product will include a pre-roll ad, as well as a one to two mid-roll ads depending on the length of the content.

Photo credit: CES 2020

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