Struggling startup mobile streaming service Quibi won an important court ruling Monday afternoon, when a federal judged denied a plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction of the platform’s core technology feature, Turnstyle.
Judge Christina Snyder said in a heavily redacted ruling that the plaintiffs, listed in the patent infringement lawsuit as “JBF Limited 2019 - Israel” and doing business in New York under the name Eko, did not establish the necessary burden of “probable” harm from the alleged infringement, as opposed to “possible” harm.
“We are extremely pleased the Court ruled today that Eko has not presented a credible case for a preliminary injunction,” Quibi said in a statement. “Eko has no case against Quibi—this is a frivolous lawsuit brought by a company and CEO looking for a payday. We will continue to aggressively defend ourselves.”
Launched on April 6, Quibi hasn’t released signup figures for its $4.99 mobile-first service. But the general consensus is that they’re underwhelming.
Quibi’s core feature, Turnstyle, causes the viewer to instinctively toggle between landscape and portrait modes on their mobile device. Quibi content is shot in two different production workflows to accommodate the technology feature. Disabling would cause significant disruption to Quibi’s business.
For its part, Eko alleges that it not only presented the technology Turnstyle is based on—“Mobile Device Optimized RTS”—to Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg several years ago, it also showed it to former Snapchat engineers who went on to develop Turnstyle at Quibi.
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