Shortly before its rocky start in April, Quibi was accused of stealing it Gimmicky technology at the heart of its difficult mobile first streaming service in one High stakes lawsuit brought by video company Eko – a litigation that continues as Quibi fights countless others public and private crises.
This week a Richter denied an injunction To disable Quibi’s turnstyle feature, it aligns the video a user sees on their screen based on whether their phone is held in landscape or portrait mode. The feature is part of the whole point of Quibi, a service that was originally billed as a streaming service People on the move and offers short takeaway content that can be viewed either via binge watch or in five minutes of free time during the day.
The technology essentially provides a high quality viewing experience regardless of how a phone is positioned. This means that portrait videos are not reduced to a tiny rectangle. This is one of the fundamental differences that Quibi is said to distinguish from other short-form video platforms such as Instagram or YouTube. It’s an integral part of the company’s entire video on the go bit – given the fact that few of us spend a lot of time outside of our homes these days, doesn’t really swing out as Quibi had hoped. But that’s a completely different problem.
In one legal action Quibi was filed in March and accused of stealing Eko’s trade secrets. He claimed to have shared details of video orientation technology under NDA with employees and executives who later landed at the competitive streaming startup and used this information to develop turnstyle. Quibi meanwhile sued the allegation itself, claiming that the technology “was developed internally at Quibi by our talented engineers, and we actually got a patent for it.”
Quibi doubled again this week, calling the lawsuit an unsubstantiated money grab.
“We are extremely pleased that the Court ruled today that Eko has not brought a credible injunction case. Eko has no case against Quibi – this is a frivolous lawsuit by a company and a CEO looking for a payday, ”said a spokesman for Gizmodo in a statement via email. “We will continue to defend ourselves aggressively.”
Eco attorney Neel Chatterjee meanwhile said the company would be “looking forward to bringing the case to justice, including our claim for substantial damages”.
This week’s verdict is a small win for Quibi. But the service still has a lot of other problems – namely that nobody actually pays Use Quibi. And with the launch of Peacock this week, Quibi faces another streaming competitor – this one with a free tier (something Quibi doesn’t offer).
I am trying to say here that even Quibis good weeks are bad weeks at this point.