Friendfinder's Potential Damages Limited in Twistbox Suit

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled last month that mobile distributor Twistbox could be on the hook for $800,000 in potential damages in a legal challenge brought on by Friendfinder Networks.

Friendfinder sued Twistbox, formerly known as WAAT Media Corp, for breach of a mobile licensing deal that was terminated in January 2009 over claims it skipped on paying royalty fees.

Friendfinder's original suit asked for $4.08 million based on its losses.

Twistbox's parent, Neumedia Inc., said that it would "vigorously defend against the ruling" while hailing the summary judgment motion ruled upon as a victory in a filing with regulators.  

According to Neumedia, the judge in the case limited the potential damages to $800,000, the amount of the minimum royalty installments that accrued prior to termination of a content license agreement.

The dispute between the companies escalated since Friendfinder's  March 2009 complaint was filed, with Twistbox countersuing, claiming Friendfinder is not entitled to the claimed amount and that it has breached the agreement by, among other things, failing to promote, market and advertise the mobile services as required under the agreement.

Twistbox also said that Friendfinder "fraudulently inducing [Twistbox] to enter into the agreement based on [its] repeated assurances of its intention to reinvigorate its flagship brand." 

Friendfinder has filed an objection to the counterclaim, while Twistbox has subsequently filed an amended counterclaim.

Meanwhile, on Friday, both parties told the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that they are "engaged in preparing" to settle Friendfinder's separate copyright infringement suit against Twistbox.