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167-main

167-main

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Published by: TechCrunch on Sep 15, 2010
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A
MENDED
C
OMPLAINT
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J
URY
D
EMAND
- Case No. 09-CV-5812 RS (PVT)
SF:282545.7
 
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Andrew P. Bridges (SBN: 122761)ABridges@winston.comDavid S. Bloch (SBN: 184530)DBloch@winston.comMatthew Scherb (SBN: 237461)MScherb@winston.comWINSTON & STRAWN LLP101 California StreetSan Francisco, CA 94111-5802Telephone: (415) 591-1000Facsimile: (415) 591-1400Attorneys for PlaintiffsTECHCRUNCH, INC. and CRUNCHPAD, INC.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTNORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIASAN FRANCISCO DIVISION
TECHCRUNCH, INC., a Delaware corporation,and CRUNCHPAD, INC., a Delawarecorporation,Plaintiffs,vs.FUSION GARAGE PTE. LTD., a Singaporecompany,Defendant.))))))))))))))
Case No. C 09-cv-5812 RS (PVT)
 
AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR BREACHOF FIDUCIARY DUTY, FRAUD ANDDECEIT, AND UNFAIR COMPETITIONDEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Case3:09-cv-05812-RS Document167 Filed09/13/10 Page1 of 24
 
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MENDED
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OMPLAINT
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J
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EMAND
- Case No. 09-CV-5812 RS (PVT)
SF:282545.7
 
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Plaintiffs file this Amended Complaint pursuant to the Court’s order of August 24, 2010.
INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT
1.
 
Starting in the fall of 2008, Defendant Fusion Garage Pte. Ltd. and PlaintiffsTechCrunch, Inc. and CrunchPad, Inc. worked together to develop and market a low-cost, touch-screen tablet computer called the CrunchPad.2.
 
Fusion Garage led Plaintiffs to believe that they were collaborators working earnestlyon a common joint venture. This turned out to be false.3.
 
At some point, and certainly by September 2009, Fusion Garage secretly decided to“divorce” itself from Plaintiffs. On November 17, 2009, seemingly “out of the blue,” as it claimed,Fusion Garage unilaterally cancelled the joint venture between itself and Plaintiffs, announcing thatit would exploit for its sole benefit the CrunchPad business and all that the parties had done together,thus cutting Plaintiffs out of the project and its rewards.4.
 
In a communication to the public relations firm orchestrating the divorce, FusionGarage acknowledged having “
strung along
” Plaintiffs, confided that it was getting harder to
playalong
,” and predicted “
a massive blowup
” upon Plaintiffs’ receipt of its November 17, 2009cancellation email. Later, Fusion Garage dismissed concerns of its public relations firm about legalaction by explaining “everything [had] been verbal” and nothing “shared via email etc.”5.
 
Fusion Garage and Plaintiffs were joint venturers. Fusion Garage breached itsfiduciary duty to Plaintiffs with malice, “stringing along” Plaintiffs with fraudulent promises anddeceitful conduct so it could usurp the CrunchPad business for itself. Plaintiffs bring this suit to seek redress for Fusion Garage’s malicious misconduct.
THE PARTIES
6.
 
TechCrunch, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business withinthis District. The Plaintiff formerly known as Interserve, Inc. has changed its name to TechCrunch,Inc. TechCrunch has developed a widespread reputation as a publisher of a network of technology-oriented blogs and other web properties and as a sponsor of forums and conferences to highlight newtechnologies and the companies that are spawning them.
Case3:09-cv-05812-RS Document167 Filed09/13/10 Page2 of 24
 
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MENDED
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J
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- Case No. 09-CV-5812 RS (PVT)
SF:282545.7
 
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7.
 
CrunchPad, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in thisDistrict. Michael Arrington, founder and Co-Editor of TechCrunch, formed CrunchPad, Inc. as asubsidiary of TechCrunch to be a vehicle for TechCrunch’s commercialization of the CrunchPad.8.
 
Plaintiffs believe, and therefore allege, that Fusion Garage Pte. Ltd. is a Singaporecompany with its principal place of business in Singapore. Plaintiffs believe, and therefore allege,that Fusion Garage’s status is analogous to that of a corporation under United States law. Plaintiffsbelieve, and therefore allege, that Chandrasekhar Rathakrishnan, a Singapore national, is the chief executive of Fusion Garage.
JURISDICTION
9.
 
The Court has original jurisdiction over the action under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 becausethe action is between a citizen of a state and a citizen or subject of a foreign state and the amount incontroversy exceeds $75,000.
VENUE
10.
 
This District is a proper venue for the action because Fusion Garage resides withinthe District within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c). In addition, a substantial part of the actionsand omissions giving rise to the action occurred within this District, including (1) the physicalpresence of Fusion Garage through its agents with respect to some of the actions that form the basisfor this action and (2) the participation in and dissemination of a videoconference with falseadvertising in this District.
INTRADISTRICT ASSIGNMENT
11.
 
This action initially involved a claim under the Lanham Act and was therefore notsubject to intradistrict assignment.
FACTS COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION
12.
 
TechCrunch holds an esteemed position in the technology world for providinginformation and analysis concerning new technologies, the companies that produce and market them,and the marketplace for those technologies and companies.13.
 
Michael Arrington is the founder and Co-Editor of TechCrunch. TIME Magazinenamed him one of the “100 most influential people in the world” in 2008.
Case3:09-cv-05812-RS Document167 Filed09/13/10 Page3 of 24

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