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Quibi Defends Turnstyle Technology, Says Removing Feature Would Cause ‘Immense Harm’ to Business

Stephanie Sengwe

Quibi has been embattled with Eko since March. The latter is suing the streamer for patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets over Quibi’s Turnstyle technology and claim 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.

Eko went on to file an injunction against Quibi mere days before their official launch, urging the company to stop using the feature.

Now, Quibi has responded. In new court proceedings, a lawyer for the short-form streaming service defended the company, arguing that disabling the Turnstyle feature would cause “immense harm” to the company, Variety reported.

“We would have to rip out a function and figure out how to deliver content to our users in a very turbulent time in the world in which Quibi is trying to get customers to sign up for its business,” said Michael Jacobs, attorney for Quibi in a telephonic hearing before U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt. “We’ve invested in two assets — a horizontal and a vertical asset. If we can’t implement Turnstyle, then half of that asset — for every particular show — that asset disappears.”

Eko’s lawyer Neel Chatterjee rebutted, stating Quibi could still provide their service without the Turnstyle feature. He also argued that, “Quibi’s use of the Turnstyle feature has harmed Eko’s business prospects and caused confusion in the marketplace … and alleged during the argument that Quibi had modified its logo to resemble Eko’s logo,” according to Variety.

Both parties are now awaiting the judge’s decision.

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