Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am and Chandra Rathakrishnan have partnered to create a wide-angle lens attachment for the iPhone. The accessory debuted in London today as part of the launch of Will.i.am’s i.am+ iPhone accessories company. Mr. Rathakrishnan is the CEO of i.am+.
Fusion Garage Posts
Fusion Garage is the manufacturing company that Michael Arrington partnered with in July 2008. Arrington and Fusion Garage were working together to create a tablet called the CrunchPad. Fusion Garage cut Arrington out of the experiment and decided to launch a tablet called the JooJoo. That did not really pan out too well for Fusion Garage because the company is reportedly expected to be liquidating and owes creditors $40 million according to sources with BusinessInsider.
In July 2008, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington wrote a blog post saying that he wanted to build a simple web tablet for $200 in a blog post and that he was looking for partnerships. This was long before the Apple iPad was released. Long story short: Arrington made a partnership with Fusion Garage to develop the CrunchPad, prototypes were created, and then Fusion Garage ended up cutting off Arrington from the project, and renamed the CrunchPad to the JooJoo. Today it appears that Fusion Garage appears to be struggling financially. Fusion Garage’s PR firm McGrath Power and law firm Quinn Emmanuel decided to cut the company due to lack of payment. Fusion Garage still seems to be in business and is selling products like the Grid 10 tablet and the Grid 4 smartphone. [Techmeme]
Chandrashekar Rathakrishnan, the founder of Fusion Garage announced that the joojoo will no longer be manufactured. The joojoo used to be known as the CrunchPad as the idea was conceived by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. The joojoo was a Linux-based tablet that would have WiFi and would be used mainly for surfing the web. Arrington formed a partnership with Fusion Garage, but it ended in a conflict. Arrington almost sued Fusion Garage as a result. Fusion Garage plans to manufacture a different kind of tablet with Android as the OS. [BoyGeniusReport]
Fusion Garage has responded to a lawsuit that was filed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington against them. For previous coverage of the CrunchPad in regards to the lawsuit, visit: http://pulse2.com/category/crunchpad-inc/.
Michael Arrington filed a lawsuit against Fusion Garage for “Fraud and Deceit, Misappropriation of Business Ideas, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unfair Competition, and Violations of the Lanham Act.” And below is the full statement that Fusion Garage has made against the lawsuit:
FUSION GARAGE RESPONDS TO TECHCRUNCH LAWSUIT AND
DECEMBER 11 BLOG POST BY MICHAEL ARRINGTON
DECEMBER 17, 2009
The lawsuit filed by TechCrunch against Fusion Garage and accompanying December 11, 2009 blog post by Michael Arrington are without merit. We will vigorously defend ourselves against the suit’s claims in court. The December 11 blog post by Arrington makes several hollow allegations including:
Lack of Viable Funding/Our Shareholders/Cash Flow:
Fusion Garage is a properly capitalized start up that has received $3M in funding to date and is preparing to announce a new round within the coming weeks. The Company is a viable concern whose financial status more than enables it to fully develop and bring to market its intellectual property commercialized in the form of joojoo. Fusion Garage has various angel investors that are well-respected business people in the Singapore community. Like many international angel investors, Dr. Bruce Lee is a successful entrepreneur with several profitable ventures. Additionally, Fusion Garage is proud of the other investors on its rosters – many of whom have invested in previous ventures founded by Rathakrishnan. Fusion Garage went out and secured funding – tangible proof of Fusion Garage’s “doer” status relative to the alleged yet intangible claims of investment by TechCrunch. Pre-sales have indeed begun and, with or without them, the Company has sufficient funds to bring the joojoo to market and defend itself against the baseless claims of TechCrunch.
Pegatron IP Ownership:
Another example of Fusion Garage “doer status” in bringing the joojoo to market is the Company’s now defunct relationship with ODM Pegatron. Fusion Garage established this relationship after Arrington’s promises of hardware development support proved to be hollow. Fusion Garage is now working with another top tier ODM to develop a completely new board and mechanical layout that is the basis for the joojoo. To state, as the lawsuit and accompanying blog post do, that Fusion Garage’s joojoo is based on any Pegatron IP is false.
As for the ongoing personal attacks against Rathakrishnan, they do not deserve a point by point
response. Arrington’s attacks on Rathakrishnan’s past business activities are unfounded. The points he raises are old news and raise the question of why he would want to do business with Rathakrishnan if his past was so controversial. Dredging up old and nebulous material only reflects his desperation for material.
Fusion Garage is proud to have introduced the joojoo last week and is equally proud of the positive feedback the product received by industry influencers and media. We have received more than 6,000 email inquiries to our website and pre-orders to date have exceeded our expectations. We have no reason to believe that the legal action taken against Fusion Garage will prevent the joojoo from reaching market.
Since our first public statements on the joojoo, we have taken the high road regarding past interactions with Arrington and TechCrunch. We find Arrington’s ongoing attempts to bully public opinion and members of the media to be the sad rants of a person championing a losing cause.
Michael Arrington, the powerhouse blogger and founder of CrunchPad Inc. is suing Fusion Garage. Fusion Garage is basically the company that he believes screwed him over with the development of a touchscreen tablet. Both Fusion Garage was the manufacturer behind the tablet and the device was supposed to be called CrunchPad, a name that Arrington owns the trademark of. Fusion Garage decided to rename the device JooJoo and sell it for $499. Arrington planned to sell the original CrunchPad for $199.
Arrington has filed a lawsuit against Fusion Garage through a company called Interserve Inc. Interserve is doing business as TechCrunch and CrunchPad Inc. Below is the document of the filed lawsuit.
For more details, check out what Arrington has to say about the case on TechCrunch.
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington wrote a blog post about a year ago that announced his company was working on a touchscreen tablet intended only for Internet browsing. Throughout the past year, he hired a manufacturing firm, partnered with retailers, and made a partnership with Intel for processors. He wanted his device to sell for $199.
The device was supposed to hit the market by Black Friday, but it kept getting stalled. About a week ago Arrington gave an update about the project by saying that it wasn’t going to happen. The Crunchpad would not be released due to the fact that he owned the trademark and Fusion Garage, the manufacturing company contractor he was working with kicked him out.
Earlier today Fusion Garage CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan said that Arrington was “unable to deliver.” Rathakrishnan also criticized Arrington for putting up pictures of the Crunchpad, publicizing news about the product, and talked about how important his role was in the product about what he was going to do while Fusion Garage was doing all the work.
Fusion Garage renamed the Crunchpad to JooJoo and plans to sell it for $499. The device will only work with a WiFi connection and supports HD video. JooJoo has a 12.1″ touchscreen and boots up in 9 seconds. Arrington said that he would not comment on what is going on with the CrunchPad going forward, but assured that there will be litigation involved going forward.