updated 02:45 pm EDT, Mon August 30, 2010
Fusion Garage gets JooJoo stay but may lose case
Fusion Garage today scored a partial but possibly ineffective win in its legal dispute with TechCrunch after a judge ruled out certain requests from the tech site in the lawsuit. District Judge Richard Seeborg denied a call for a preliminary ban on sales of the JooJoo tablet as TechCrunch wasn't clear how much profit Fusion Garage would get and thus what kind of damages there might be. The judge added that there wasn't clear an injunction would be needed to recover any perceived losses.
In spite of Fusion Garage's victory, Judge Seeborg nonetheless rejected Fusion Garage's motion to dismiss claims of breaking "fiduciary duty" in allegedly deciding to turn on TechCrunch. He argued that the site was clearly involved in designing what was called the CrunchPad and could have have a reasonable opportunity in court to prove that it was in a joint venture. As such, Fusion Garage may have unfairly split from the project without compensating its partner for the work it had done to bring the tablet to reality, the ruling said.
The CrunchPad had originally been conceived by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington as a $200 Linux tablet that would rely on web apps for its entire access. Although costs had gone up by the end, the device was on the verge of a major launch before Fusion Garage claimed that its shareholders thought the tablet would fare better without its co-creators, raised the price to $500 and eventually shipped it as the JooJoo. Doubts have existed over whether enough had been obtained in writing to cement the deal, but Fusion Garage has repeatedly made clear that it was involved with the project for much of its life.
No definite sales numbers have ever surfaced, but it's rumored the Atom-based slate has never sold in high numbers. [via Hank Williams]