- Arrington claims he's the "outright owner of the CrunchPad trademark," but that's simply not true: the CrunchPad trademark was only applied for on November 17, the same day Arrington says Fusion Garage notified him of the split. Oops -- and even stranger because Arrington's said the CrunchPad was due to be launched on November 20. Why wasn't this sewn up months ago?
- Assuming there isn't some secret CrunchPad patent application we don't know about, the only major IP rights we can see TechCrunch asserting to the CrunchPad device have to do with the copyright to the code , and that's a total mess. Since Arrington apparently didn't draw up a contract giving him sole copyright to the CrunchPad's code, he and his lawyers are arguing that TechCrunch and Fusion Garage are "joint owners" to any rights, and that's just about the weakest position Arrington can be in. Joint copyright owners are legally considered to have equal rights to the entire product, and unless there's a written agreement (see how that keeps coming up?) saying they both have to sign off, each joint owner is allowed to non-exclusively sell the entire thing without the other's approval. In our experience it's pretty rare for joint copyright ownership to be an ideal business arrangement, and we can't imagine how Arrington got to within three days of launching the CrunchPad without hammering out the details of who owned what.
- In fact, the most notable thing about the letter from Arrington's lawyers to Fusion Garage is that it doesn't contain any contractual language whatsoever -- it only references emails and conversations between the two companies. That's particularly odd because the letter to Pegatron says TechCrunch will be suing for breach of contract, so you'd think Arrington's attorneys would be laser-focused on his contractual rights if he could assert them. Then again, you'd think Arrington would have known better than to start this project without doing the appropriate paperwork first, so really anything's possible.
Letter to Jason Cheng (Pegatron Corp)
TC letter to Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan