Interactive video company Eko says Quibi’s highly touted ‘Turnstyle’ feature makes unauthorized use of its intellectual property; Quibi denies the allegation and files suit.

© Daniel Boczarski via Getty Images | Streamer Quibi Faces Patent Infringement Claim Over Video Feature

Short-form streaming video service Quibi, which is preparing to launch next month, is facing claims that one of its core technology features infringes on another company’s intellectual property, according to documents that describe the dispute.
Quibi is gearing up for an April 6 debut of its service, which will offer content shorter than 10 minutes that is meant to be watched on smartphones. The company says it has developed a groundbreaking new technology, “Turnstyle,” that plays different videos depending on how viewers...
The short-form, mobile video streaming platform Quibi is scheduled to launch on April 6th, but it's already facing a patent infringement dispute. Eko, a New York-based company that creates interactive videos, claims Quibi used patented tech and stolen trade secrets to develop its "Turnstyle" technology, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The tech in question allows Quibi to play different videos depending on whether the viewer is holding their phone horizontally or vertically, and it's central to Quibi's offering. Eko's lawyers sent Quibi a letter demanding that it stop using the technology or license it. Eko also claims that some Quibi employees stole trade secrets -- which they allegedly had access to in roles at Quibi and Snap -- to develop the Turnstyle feature.
Quibi denies Eko's allegations, and the company has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court seeking a declaratory judgment that it didn't infringe on Eko's patent or misappropriate trade secrets.
"Our Turnstyle technology was developed internally at Quibi by our talented engineers, and we have, in fact, received a patent for it," Quibi said in a statement shared by WSJ. "These claims have absolutely no merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them in court."
Quibi has 175 shows planned for its first year, and many of them involve big-name celebrities. But we don't know for sure whether the Quibi model is going to work out. It will share content like short clips (10 minutes or less) and charge viewers $4.99 per month with ads, or $7.99 per month without ads. Of course, accusations related to Quibi's signature feature could pose a major challenge.
This article was originally published by The Wall Street Journal. 
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