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JooJoo men strike back at CrunchPad suit

TechCruncher 'fatally imprecise'

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With Apple's latest cultware setting the world aflame over tablet PCs, it's easy to overlook another $500 couch potato media pad that made a rather spottier debut months earlier.

Fusion Garage is supposedly getting set to release its JooJoo internet pad soon. But first, it's aiming to quash a lawsuit filed by the device's former daddy, TechCrunch blogmeister Michael Arrington.

Better known by its former name, the CrunchPad, the JooJoo media tab is the spawn of a sloppy and very public fling between Arrington and the 13-person Singapore firm, Fusion Garage. After the CrunchPad project fell apart Fusion Garage decided it would keep moving forward with a product sans Arrington and TechCrunch branding.

Arrington responded to the news with a lawsuit claiming that Fusion Garage and its CEO, Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan, had turned on him and stole his ideas for CrunchPad. In a lawsuit filed against the firm in December, Arrington accused Fusion Garage of fraud and deceit, misappropriation of business ideas, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition, among other things.

Fusion Garage responded on Thursday with a legal motion to dismiss the lawsuit via a 31-page request arguing that Arrington's claims are "legally barred, facially [sic] flawed, and fatally imprecise."

While the lawsuit goes into great detail disputing each charge, the argument essentially hangs on the basis that there was never a legally binding contract between the two.

It argues Arrington's claim of "misappropriation of business ideas," for one, fails because no such claim exists under California law. And failing that, Arrington was more than eager to disclose his supposedly novel ideas for the CrunchPad "all over the internet" before its release, the filing states.

The filing also counters that allegations of a breach of fiduciary duty are "too vague and imprecise to state a claim." A copy of the full complaint can be found here (PDF).

Meanwhile, over at Venture Beat, Rathakrishnan vows that JooJoos will be on shelves by the end of February, and that it's larger, higher-resolution screen will be the device's biggest advantage over Apple's iPad. ®

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