I Just read on Daring Fireball that the judge has denied TechCrunch’s claim for preliminary injunction against their former tablet partners and makers of JooJoo, Fusion Garage.
Gruber claims that “Mike Arrington gets smacked around in the first round of his lawsuit over the JooJoo/CrunchPad. In short: TechCrunch didn’t get much in writing regarding their “partnership” with Fusion Garage to develop the product, and, well, they should have.”
He then goes on too snarkily add, “Curiously, I’ve seen no coverage of this decision on TechCrunch.”
Because I am admittedly fascinated with the case, I actually took the time to read the judge’s decision. Perhaps Gruber’s snark would have been appropriate if his “in short” was anywhere within several miles of the truth regarding the decision. Honestly, the whole JooJoo thing seems like such distant and irrelevant news in light of the iPad, and soon Android and Chrome OS tablets. But its fascinating to me that Gruber feels compelled to totally misrepresent what the judge said.
The real “in short” of the judge’s decision is this. The judge said that the preliminary injunction request was denied, essentially because it was not specific enough about how much profit there would be in the device, if any at all. He also said that there was no evidence that if TechCrunch prevailed in the final case that the injunction was necessary to insure that TechCrunch could receive a recovery. There were additional and more detailed legal conclusions, but they were all narrow and only relevant to immediate injunctive relief. So TechCrunch’s request that 100% of the revenue of the *sales* of the device was overreaching, and legally insufficient and was therefore denied.
But the judge, then went on to spend quite a few pages laying out that it was likely that TechCrunch was in a partnership/joint venture with defendant FusionGarage, and that it was likely that Fusion Garage had breached its fiduciary duty, contrary to their assertions. It seems *very* likely to me, from reading the decision, that TechCrunch will win the case.
Specifically, the judge said, “Accordingly, TechCrunch has made a credible showing that it may be able to establish the existence of a joint venture under which Fusion Garage owed it certain fiduciary duties. Such duties may have precluded Fusion Garage from proceeding to market with the joojoo without taking appropriate steps to dissolve the relationship and to compensate TechCrunch.”
If there were any money to be made, it is likely that TechCrunch would be getting a nice piece of it. Alas, given the circumstances, a victory here would be pyrrhic. The JooJoo will never make money and so the whole thing is moot. What’s not moot is that Gruber, for some strange reason felt compelled to summarize the judge’s decision in a patently false manner. Re: Daring Fireball, caveat emptor.
Hank Williams is a tech entrepreneur. He writes at Why Does Everything Suck?, where this post originally appeared.