Full Steam Ahead for Controversial JooJoo

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Despite the fact that a lawsuit from Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch is hovering into view, Singapore company, Fusion Garage has decided to jump into full production with the JooJoo tablet. Following a presentation in early December 2009 by Fusion Garage founder Chandrasekher Rathakrishnan, pre-orders for the product have been strong.

The tablet formerly known as the CrunchPad

However, soon after that presentation, a lawsuit arrived on Rathakrishnan’s desk from TechCrunch. For those of you who haven’t heard the potted history of the JooJoo, well it was once the CrunchPad, as Tech Crunch and Fusion Garage worked together to develop the tablet. However, in the run up to a 20 November release last year, the partnership soured and Fusion Garage wandered off into the sunset claiming they’d release the product under the JooJoo title minus any TechCrunch involvement.

Various legal machinations have seen TechCrunch recently granted permission to serve subpoenas on Fusion Garage as well as the company’s U.S. public relations firm, McGrath Power, and PayPal, which is processing payments for preorders on the JooJoo website.

As PCWorld notes, “Last week, Fusion Garage filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing the claims laid out in TechCrunch’s complaint are either too vague or lack legal standing. A case management meeting, involving lawyers for both sides in the lawsuit and Judge James Ware, is set for March 22.”

Being manufactured through a partnership with CSL, who are a small handset and computer vendor, some of the ins and outs were explained in a Fusion Garage statement today which said, “The strategic relationship between the companies calls for CSL to absorb all up front manufacturing costs associated with JooJoo production”. In return, CSL will receive a “royalty” from the sale of each JooJoo tablet, which is set to be priced at $499 (€360).

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