A judge has denied TechCrunch a preliminary injunction on the production and sale of the Joojoo Tablet. However, while throwing out the majority of TechCrunch’s claims, the judge has also ruled TechCrunch and the Singapore-based Fusion Garage, despite an appalling lack of contracts, likely fall under the legal definition of business partners, with an obligation to look out for each other’s interests. The ruling means that TechCrunch won’t be able to shut down sales of the Joojoo or immediately recoup any revenue from sales of the device, but may open the door to TechCrunch pursuing a claim that Fusion Garage breached fiduciary responsibility in their partnership.
TechCrunch sued Fusion Garage over the Joojoo in late 2009, just as the Joojoo tablet went on sale. The lawsuit materials revealed that only 90 tablets had been ordered before the Joojoo began shipping.
The Joojoo tablet has quickly faded into the background of the current tablet computer market, with the Apple iPad currently dominating the market, with a torrent of Android-based competitors due to go on sale in time for the end-of-year holiday buying season. However, the once-touted Joojoo once garnered significant online attention for repeated boastful pre-production claims of its capabilities and pricetag. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington floated the idea in mid-2008, although Fusion Garage claims to have been working on their hardware longer than that.
The Joojoo features a 12.1-inch 1,366 by 768-pixel touch screen display and runs Linux; it features 4 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM, a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, and claims to be able to go from a cold start to a Web browser in just 9 seconds.
Arrington originally touted the tablet as getting to market with a $200 price tag, although the estimated price tag crept up as the product got closer to shipping. The Joojoo eventually went on sale for $499.