The CrunchPad Is Dead, Long Live the CrunchPad

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It’s a tale of greed and lust.

Michael Arrington is reporting that Fusion Garage has pulled the rug out from underneath TechCrunch on the CrunchPad project and plans to sell the 12-inch tablet without TechCrunch. It seems as though Fusion Garage was being pressured by shareholders to ditch Arrington and co. They seem to forget that Arrington is a former lawyer and a pitbull at that.

Here are a few excerpts from the e-mails that were exchanged between Arrington and Chandra Rathakrishnan who heads up Fusion Garage.

Chandra also forwarded an internal email from one of his shareholders. My favorite part of the email: “We still acknowledge that Arrington and TechCrunch bring some value to your business endeavor…If he agrees to our terms, we would have Arrington assume the role of visionary/evangelist/marketing head and Fusion Garage would acquire the rights to use the Crunchpad brand and name. Personally, I don’t think the name is all that important but you seem to be somewhat attached to the name.”

Yesterday Chandra sent an email saying “Following our phone discussion, I had another round of discussions with my shareholders. The shareholders are not willing to move from their position as they believe their stand is justified. On the other hand, there isn’t an alternative offer on the table from Crunchpad.”

My response: “We have not come back to you with any counter offer to the email you forwarded because you and your shareholders have communicated to us that moving forward without us is something that you consider to be a legitimate and legal option. In other words, your “counter” offer is theft of intellectual property.”

It’s a shame, really. I handled one of the earlier prototypes when I was with TechCrunch and I was excited at the prospect of getting one. Everyone at CrunchGear and MobileCrunch were jazzed at the prospect.