U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder dismissed a claim involving Quibi Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, finding no evidence that Katzenberg entered into an “implied contract” when he took a meeting with Eko’s CEO, Yoni Bloch. The judge also dismissed a claim involving two former Snap employees who went to work for Quibi, and a claim accusing Quibi of adopting a logo that was confusingly similar to Eko’s.
But the judge left in place the heart of Eko’s case against Quibi, including allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets and patent infringement.
“Eko has adequately pled that Quibi had access to its trade secret information, and produced a technology that is similar,” Snyder wrote.
The case will now move forward on those counts. Eko is also free to amend its complaint on the three dismissed counts and refile them.
Eko, based in New York, alleges that Quibi stole its patented technique to allow viewers of cellphone video to toggle between landscape and portrait mode. Quibi contends that it independently created the technology, dubbed Turnstyle, which is one of its unique selling points.
Snyder had previously denied Eko’s request for an injunction, which would have forced Quibi to shut off the feature.
On Tuesday, the judge also denied Eko’s motion to dismiss Quibi’s suit against Eko. Quibi actually filed first, seeking a declaration that it had not infringed on Eko’s technology. Snyder agreed to consolidate both suits for the pre-trial phase.
A Quibi spokesperson issued the following statement: “We are gratified by the Court’s decision to dismiss many of Eko’s claims, particularly since the standard for doing so is extremely high. This coupled with the Court’s recent denial of Eko’s request for a preliminary injunction demonstrate what we have said all along — this is a meritless case. We will continue to aggressively defend ourselves in court.”
Update, Wednesday 1 p.m.: Eko has a statement as well.
“We are pleased that the court has found that Eko’s key claims state valid causes of action and we plan to refile pleadings pertaining to the remaining three claims, as the judge has recommended. We look forward to proceeding with the case.”