TechCrunch Suing Over JooJoo Tablet. Is it Safe to Pre-Order One?
Michael Arrington and TechCrunch have finally filed their promised lawsuit against Fusion Garage over the CrunchPad/JooJoo tablet. Arrington posted the text of the complaint filed as well as a lengthy, less legal speak-filled description of why he feels that Fusion Garage and its CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan did him wrong and can’t be trusted. I’ve been wondering at Arrington’s state of mind this past week since FG seemed to waste no time showing off the device (with it’s new name branded into the case) to every tech media outlet, including us. Arrington even dinged the press in his post for not mentioning the new branding. He also called out sites who posted the link to the pre-sale site without disclosing that the company is in financial trouble and may not have the money to build the JooJoos consumers are putting down money for. These are good points, and I will admit that though I noted the JooJoo branding on the device’s case, I did not ask about it. But what struck me as I read through Arrington’s various complaints and grievances was: Why did you ever go into business with these people? He alleges that Fusion Garage “is, and always has been, a company on the edge of going out of business,” and often dealt with shady investors and loansharks. TechCrunch paid their bills often and FG’s current financial situation is supposedly “a mess.” He claims that Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan “isn’t a good guy” who plagiarizes and ran his last business into the ground. There’s much more alleged in the lawsuit itself where TechCrunch states that they almost pulled the plug on the project and ended their partnership with Fusion Garage on several occasions but didn’t because Rathakrishnan asked them not to and made promises he then did not fulfill. Not once. Several times. Again, if all of this is true, why did Arrington go into business with these people? Why did he continue with the partnership for so long? Was the promise of the device so tempting that everyone on the TechCrunch side was willing to overlook these major problems? I reached out to Fusion Garage for comment and their rep said that an announcement is coming Monday. Their side of the story will no doubt be different, but which version of events will end up looking more credible? In the mean time, it might be best to hold off on ordering the JooJoo until it actually starts shipping units . Plus, there will probably be a number of legal wrinkles in the near future, which could delay or suspend sales and shipping for quite a while. I personally hope this doesn’t happen as I want to play with the device more. But there doesn’t seem to be much hope of reconciliation or a swift end to this drama.