The JooJoo is the touchscreen tablet computer formerly known as the CrunchPad. It was conceived by TechCrunch editor Mike Arrington and built by startup Fusion Garage as a new category of device meant for what he called couch computing.
Last Friday, the JooJoo’s launch was tainted — skillfully, I must admit — by Arrington, who filed and published a Federal lawsuit charging Fusion Garage with stealing his invention and attempting to sell it themselves.
Moreover, Arrington said, Fusion Garage was in no financial position to deliver and support JooJoos to customers, and key intellectual property for the gadget was owned by Pegatron, the manufacturing arm of Asus that had been contracted to manufacture CrunchPads. In short, Arrington claimed it would be crazy for anyone to pre-order a $500 JooJoo, since he doubted the tablets would ever reach customers’ hands.
Today Fusion Garage finally sent a response to a list of reporters. You can read the whole thing at Silicon Alley Insider, but here’s an excerpt of Fusion Garage’s key claims.
First, the company claims to have all the funding it needs to build and sell mass-market tablet computers:
“Fusion Garage is a properly capitalized start up that has received $3M in funding to date and is preparing to announce a new round within the coming weeks. The Company is a viable concern … Pre-sales have indeed begun and … the Company has sufficient funds to bring the JooJoo to market and defend itself against the baseless claims of TechCrunch.”
But what about the intellectual property Arrington claims they don’t own? The statement says:
“Fusion Garage is now working with another top tier ODM [That’s an original design manufacturer] to develop a completely new board and mechanical layout that is the basis for the joojoo. To state, as the lawsuit and accompanying blog post do, that Fusion Garage’s JooJoo is based on any Pegatron IP is false.”
Although pricey, the JooJoo does have some appeal. It has a 12.1-inch touchscreen instead of a keyboard and mouse. That, plus Wi-Fi, makes for a device meant to be used in a relaxed way, leaning back rather than leaning forward into hard work.