Quibi’s zombie can finally rest his tired head. The company’s successor has solved an ongoing feud with an eternal thorn in its side Eko.
Eko, an interactive video company, and Quibi’s successor QBI Holdings announced today that they had reached a settlement in the legal battle over Quibi’s perspective-changing Turnstyle function, which Eko claimed the streaming service had removed from its own proprietary video technology. Both companies have agreed to reject their legal action against each other, and Quibi will hand over both the video technology and Turnstyle IP to Eko as part of its agreement.
“This result will help Eko remain the undisputed leader in interactive storytelling technology,” said Eko CEO Yoni Bloch in a statement.
Quibi was founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman and debuted last year in the middle of a plethora of streaming launches. The mobile-first service was designed to suit the intervening moments on the train or while waiting in line when users had time to kill on their phones, with Quibi serving high-value fast production videos supported by leading creators and A-list talent.
The problem was that the service started in the middle of the pandemic when the on-the-go viewers it hoped to find got stuck indoors. In the beginning reluctant to implement casting support, the the service struggled to keep on paying subscribers. Quibi was plagued by countless problems right up until then untimely death less than one year after launch, including but by no means limited to that ongoing legal battles against Eko.
Eko, an interactive storytelling platform, claimed that Quibi stole the idea for its Turnstyle technology that allowed Quibi users to see certain perspectives from a title based on the phone’s orientation in either portrait or landscape mode. Eko called Quibi’s technology “an almost identical copy of itself, from the patented smart video response system to how files are created, formatted and stored.” Eko was granted a patent for its own video technology in October 2019.
Quibi finally shut down in December and Roku pulled in to intercept the IP remnants from its body for its own streaming service, The Roku Channel. But that left behind the Turnstyle technology and its legal problems, which remained unresolved before this week.
In a statement, Katzenberg said his camp was “pleased with the outcome of this dispute and proud of Quibis and its engineering team’s independent contribution to content presentation technology.” If only someone had actually used it.