All throughout history, great ideas, inventions and leaps in technology seem to come simultaneously from multiple directions. Edison and Tesla famously squabbled over their similar electrical inventions. It isn’t unusual for many creative minds to spot room for improvement to existing technology. So the lawsuits over “who did what first” are bound to keep coming.
For example, take the lawsuit between Quibi Holdings LLC (a now-defunct video app that enjoyed brief popularity) and Eko, an existing interactive media company over the “Turnstyle” video technology they both claimed they invented.
What is Turnstyle video tech and why is it important?
Turnstyle does one small but critical thing: It detects which way a user is holding their phone so that the video they are playing automatically comes up in either portrait or landscape mode.
Quibi claimed to have developed the technology on its own. Before Quibi even launched, however, the folks at Eko fired back, claiming that Quibi had lifted the technology they invented and infringed upon their patent. This almost immediately resulted in a high-stakes lawsuit.
After months of negotiations, Quibi agreed to surrender the Turnstyle intellectual property (IP) to Eko, and Eko agreed to dismiss their suit against Quibi. It’s likely that there is more to the agreement, but that’s all that the companies are publicly revealing.
Why was it so important for Eko to assert its IP rights against a defunct company? In the words of Eko’s Founder and CEO, “This result will help ensure that Eko remains the undisputed leader in interactive storytelling technology.”
Your IP is worth protecting
It’s often a battle to get a great idea properly protected in time to keep someone else from getting there first. Whatever your industry, your IP is the most valuable thing you possess, so you need to stay on guard against infringements.