Tech company Eko is aiming to stop Quibi's debut next Monday. The digital video company asked a federal judge for an injunction this afternoon. They are claiming Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman misappropriated trade secrets and infringed on its patented Turnstyle technology. The tech allows viewers to seamlessly switch between vertical and landscape mode while watching a video. Quibi denies the allegations and claim that their engineers came up with the idea all on their own.
Eko is also making allegations that Jeffrey Katzenberg and Quibi believe they are above the law. Katzenberg and Meg Whitman were able to quickly raise nearly $2 billion for their streaming platform, which is made up of ten-minute bite-sized shows. The new streaming platform is supposed to debut next Monday, but it might not be able to, depending on the judge's decision. You can read portion of the court documents below.
"Quibi's actions have had a devastating effect on Eko's goodwill in the marketplace, causing it significant harm which cannot be quantified. Previously viewed as having ground-breaking, unique and proprietary technology, Eko has suffered reputational harm, and now needs to explain its ownership of technology that Quibi took from it. Quibi appears to believe that because of its star power and its efforts to attract Hollywood talent, it is above the law."
Quibi and Eko have been fighting for months, suing each other back and forth. Jeffrey Katzenberg says he barely remembers meeting with Eko CEO Yoni Bloch in March 2017. Quibi was started a year later and another meeting between employees of both companies occurred. "Our Turnstyle technology was developed internally at Quibi by our talented engineers and we have, in fact, received a patent for it," says the streaming platform. "These claims have absolutely no merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them in court."
Eko also claims that Quibi is trying to take advantage of people who are practicing social distancing and remaining indoors with their launch. The tech company says the new streaming platform is "exploiting" current events while using it as a "marketing tool." Quibi has a lot of shows and star power behind it, with a whole bunch of original content on the way. Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Chance the Rapper, Liam Hemsworth, Sophie Turner, Lena Waithe, Nicole Richie, and Reese Witherspoon are only some of the stars on board for the short shows.
Quibi is under pressure to deliver and Eko is trying to stop them from getting off of the ground. They plan on releasing another 175 shows in the near future, which is massive and they are currently offering a 90-day free trial for users who sign up on the website before next week. Regular monthly pricing is set at $4.99 (with ads) and $7.99 (no ads). As for how the judge will decide on the matter, that is unclear at the moment. Deadline was the first to report on the injunction.