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Turnstyle Controversy Gets Messier, Jeffrey Katzenberg Named as Defendant in Eko Lawsuit

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First Quibi launched during a pandemic. And that produced a quieter debut than founder Jeffrey Katzenberg had intended. Another worry: tech company Eko has sued Quibi, claiming it stole its technology for its Turnstyle interface.

Now, Katzenberg has been named as a defendant in Eko’s legal battle, reports Deadline.

Eko claims it showed its “horizontal-to-vertical video technology” to Katzenberg during an investment meeting back in 2017. Now it’s suing over patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. The Turnstyle feature allows viewers of the platform’s content to flip their devices to gain different aspects of a show.

“This is a case to stop the on-going irreparable harm to Eko based on Quibi’s theft of Eko’s ideas, trade secrets and proprietary technology effected through Smith, Burfitt, Katzenberg and others,” says the partially redacted amended complaint filed late last night in federal court.

“Defendants have attempted to steal a number of ideas core to Eko’s business, and have launched a business claiming the ideas and technologies as their own,” the document contends. It names Quibi employees Clifton Smith, Joseph Burfitt, Robert A. Post Jr, Blake Barnes, and its head of engineering Eric Buehl.

The trade magazine explains the amended complaint adds Katzenberg for the new breach of implied contract claim. Plus, it is including a trademark claim based on the allegation that Quibi stole Eko’s logo. Eko’s parent company JBF Interlude 2009 Ltd. – Israel sued Quibi in early March.