via Chicago Tribune:
The maker of the Nabi tablet computer for children sued Toys R Us Inc. Monday, saying the world’s largest toy retailer stole tradesecrets in preparing to introduce the rival Tabeo tablet this month.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Diego, California, seeks to stop Toys R Us fromselling Tabeo ahead of the all-important holiday season. Nabi creator Fuhu Inc contends that Toys R Us agreed to become the exclusive seller of the Nabi last year to learn product secrets before bringing Tabeo to market.
Toys R Us Sued Over Tabeo Children’s Tablet
via PC Mag:
Toys R Us has been sued for allegedly stealing tablet computer trade secrets.
Fuhu, the Los Angeles-based creator of the children’s Nabi tablet (below), is accusing the toy store chain of copying its design, user-experience, and online services with its own Tabeo tablet.
The suit, filed in a San Diego federal court on Monday, aims to stop Toys R Us from selling itsrecently announced Tabeo device ahead of the upcoming holiday season.
Fuhu actually started selling its Nabi tablet exclusively at Toys R Us in November. But Fuhu said Toys R Us put little effort into promoting the product, and instead spent that time stealing details from the Nabi for its own tablet. Fuhu is accusing Toys R Us of fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, and trade secret misappropriation.
A Toys R Us spokeswoman wrote in an email to PCMag that the company is in the process of reviewing the filing, and declined to comment further on the lawsuit.
Fuhu’s complaint says the two companies met 13 times between October 2011 and January 2012 to discuss exclusive distribution rights, the retail launch, and terms of exclusivity, during which explicit design and sales plans were discussed – the same plans Fuhu believes Toys R Us ripped off with the Tabeo. Even the butterfly-shaped bumper case used to protect the Nabi (which means “butterfly” in Korean) is similar to the Tabeo, Fuhu said.
The toy retailer sold Fuhu’s product for $199, while the Tabeo carries a $149.99 price tag, and runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with a 7-inch multi-touch screen, front- and rear-facing camera, 4GB of memory, Wi-Fi access, and an HDMI port.
Beyond simply requesting that Toys R Us stop selling its Tabeo, Fuhu is asking that all of the tablets be turned over to Fuhu. Fuhu is also seeking unspecified monetary damages.
Fuhu, owned in part by Taiwanese computer maker Acer, gadget manufacturer Foxconn, and memory chip producer Kingston, turned from Internet software provider to tablet maker in November, and immediately began churning out the Nabi tablet for sale at Toys R Us and Babies R Us. The next-generation Nabi 2 was introduced this summer.
For more, see PCMag’s review of the Fuhu Nabi Kids Tablet and the slideshow below.
The first thing you will notice about the Nabi is its striking red, oversized rubber bumper.
Unfortunately, the bumper isn’t integrated into the tablet; it’s just a peel-off gel case, the kind you could get for any tablet.
There’s also an “adult” interface called Mommy Mode, which is straight Android 2.2 with no Google services.
The Nabi also has a mini HDMI port, a front facing camera, and Bluetooth connectivity as well as 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
Kidz Mode is a child-safe, stripped-down interface that basically consists of oversized app icons, as well as shortcuts to Nabi’s child-friendly web environment and multimedia content.