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Tech Crunch Sues JooJoo Maker Over CrunchPad Debacle

TechCrunch's Michael Arrington bashes former partner Fusion Garage, instructs media to report story in his favor.

a federal lawsuit

The TechCrunch lawsuit alleges violations of its trademark rights, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of business ideas, fraud and deceit, and unfair competition on the part of Fusion Garage. TechCrunch offers assorted communications between the two companies as evidence of its claims, though no formal contract between the parties is cited in the filing.

"A few people have suggested that we can't own any IP in the CrunchPad because we are just a blog. That's not correct. The entire blueprint of the device was created by me," wrote TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington in a Friday blog post that discusses the lawsuit.

Arrington describes Fusion Garage as a company "on the edge of going out of business" and claims that Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan, CEO of the Singapore firm, "isn't a good guy." In the post, Arrington also sees fit to instruct the technology press on how to report the story, claiming it is "inappropriate" for media to recommend Fusion Garage's JooJoo product to readers.

The lawsuit is the latest development in a series of back-and-forth moves between TechCrunch and Fusion Garage that have played out in public. Arrington announced in late November that the CrunchPad project had "self-destructed" and later warned that legal proceedings against Fusion Garage were "imminent."

Fusion Garage fired back this week with its own news conference, during which Rathakrishnan sniped that Arrington had "a flair for dramatics" and didn't contribute a single line of code on the OS" for the would-be CrunchPad that the two companies had worked on together for several months.

Rathakrishnan also gave a brief demo of the JooJoo, the $500, 12.1-inch Web browsing tablet that now appears to be the only artifact of Arrington's original dream of "a dead simple web tablet for $200."

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