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Android Businesses The Courts

Nabi Tablet-Maker, Fuhu Inc., Suing Toys R Us 38

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the at-least-there-aren't-patents-involved dept.
Penurious Penguin writes "Fuhu Inc., maker of the $199 children-tailored Nabi tablet, is suing Toys R Us. The lawsuit arises after a legal agreement (ended in January) between Fuhu and Toys R Us went awry and Toys R Us released a similar product of their own, the $150 Tabeo. The dispute alleges that Toys R Us may have intended from inception to eventually abandon the Nabi for their own future variation, the Tabeo, presumably after gathering sufficient understanding of Fuhu's design concepts and business strategies. The ZDNet article quite thoroughly covering the story notes some of the formidable investors behind Fuhu, including Acer Inc., Kingston Digital, and Foxconn Digital Inc. Fuhu also sells through retail stores such as WalMart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop and Amazon.com.Another more-recent ZDNet article further analyzes the story."
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Nabi Tablet-Maker, Fuhu Inc., Suing Toys R Us

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:45PM (#41455505)

    I'm an irrational Slashdot poster, so I'm just going to blame Apple now even though they have nothing to do with this.

    • I'm an irrational Slashdot poster, so I'm just going to blame Apple now even though they have nothing to do with this.

      This proves that Apple is the new Microsoft. At least around these parts.

      • I'm an irrational Slashdot poster, so I'm just going to blame Apple now even though they have nothing to do with this.

        This proves that Apple is the new Microsoft. At least around these parts.

        ^
        Confirmed by Netcraft

      • This proves that Apple is the new Microsoft. At least around these parts.

        It also proves that stories about Apple around here cannot be taken at face value. Eyeball-bait.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Um... make a rectangle, put a touchscreen on it, give it a big puffy case to protect against the numerous inevitable drops, then load it up with cheap apps full of microtransactions?

    Will they be suing me as well, for divulging their design concepts and business strategy? Or suing Apple as well for already doing it?

    Obligatory Apple potshot: isn't the ipad /already/ a device for kids since it won't run non-approved code?

  • I believe this is called backward Vertical Integration [wikipedia.org]. Nothing Nabi really can do about.
    • Odd. This is what happened when Microsoft was hired to create an OS for IBM called OS/2. They developed it for a couple of years, learned what to put in and what to leave out, all on IBMs dime. Then shortly after they declined to work on OS/2 anymore they had a huge release of their new product, "Windows". Why IBM didn't smash little Billy Gates into the f*cking pavement, and fire his mother (who I heard was an IBM exec), I'll never understand.

      • Because you left out important details about the divorce between Microsoft and IBM over OS/2 and what would become WindowsNT. Was Microsoft nefarious? Mostly. Was IBM trying to be proprietary? Yup. Was there animosity? Big time. Back then, it was a clash of the titans. Microsoft won; IBM won.

        If I was trying to recover my costs and found my trade secrets stolen, I'd do something about that. Microsoft had already invented an application called Windows that ran on top of DOS. That became an application that ra

  • The names of the tablets, and companies involved, are lame. It's called "make up a clever word so that we have keyword exclusivity in search engines" but leaving out the "clever" part.

    • Not a bad strategy in my opinion. All names are lame in one way or the other.

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Not a bad strategy in my opinion. All names are lame in one way or the other.

        'ThatsMyNick' being a case study on point.

        'gmhowell' for extra lame credit.

    • I think Nabi [wikipedia.org] = Butterfly (Korean), hence the shape of the tablet's case. I don't know what a tabeo is though.
  • But is it not legal? I don't know. It sounds like Toy R Us decided the $199 price point was too high and created a product that it sell for 25% less. We don't really know what happened before this. Did Toys R Us do something to keep sales down, or was there simply no demand for a $200 toy? Or was Toys R Us told that it was going to be sold online and they were going to lose the exclusivity. Selling exclusively through Toys R Us, a failing enterprise, does not seem the long term way to grow a company.
  • Nothing to see here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sirwired (27582) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @05:26PM (#41456063)

    Ok; the Tabeo is shaped more-or-less like the Fuhu. But there are only so many ways to package an impact-friendly tablet... they use a similar one. I don't understand why Fuhu has their proverbial panties in a wad about the NDA. Once the design was publicly released, how does the NDA matter any more? One certainly didn't need access to Fuhu's internal design documents once it was sold on the open market for anyone to check out.

    And "business strategies"? What exactly would those be?
    1) Make a cheap tablet that looks like a toy.
    2) Sell a bunch of them for more than they cost.
    3) Profit!

    And so what if TRU planned to abandon the Fuhu from day one? While this might give future suppliers second thoughts about "partnering" with TRU, and it certainly isn't very nice, I don't see how it's illegal. Certainly Microsoft has gotten away with doing this repeatedly... (and yet they can still find suckers willing to partner.)

    • I think it is a question of bad faith, not on any particular technology.

      You have 2 companies forming a partnership. This requires the exchange of some sensitive information. I will show you mine if you show me yours type of situation. Fuhu, being a smaller weaker company, had to expose more. After Toys R Us had a good look over it walked away and started its own line.

      It kind of reminds me of Bob Kearns. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kearns [wikipedia.org]. He is a small inventor and shops his invention, the intermitt

      • by neonmonk (467567)

        The Bob Kearns story shows why patents are necessary. We just need them to be sensible. Maybe corporations shouldn't be allowed to possess them.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If these guys have a case then Sega should go after Microsoft :p

  • Sounds like they're both copying the Leap Frog LeapPad

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