The Essential phone has gotten off to a rocky start with customers, but now it looks like the company will be headed into a legal battle with a company backed by Nest co-founder Tony Fadell. Keyssa is a new startup that works on wireless data transmission solutions.
The lawsuit alleges that Keyssa was in talks with Essential for around ten months to provide technology for Essential’s newest smartphone–the Essential PH-1–to connect to a series of accessories and smart home devices. Keyssa says no agreement between the two companies was made and they allege the tech used for its camera accessory that connects to the phone wirelessly is evidence of theft of their trade secrets.
Keyssa’s technology works by providing a small microchip that handles low-frequency data transmission and they believe that Essential stole this tech and found a different component supplier to make it work. The company says their meetings were protected by non-disclosure agreements in which Keyssa forbade Essential from pursuing technology like this on its own.
Keyssa alleged that despite Essential’s use of a different chip, the final Essential Phone design incorporates many of the techniques developed by Keyssa to make wireless connectors function well in a phone, from antenna designs to methods for testing phones on the manufacturing line.
Essential has yet to comment on the new report, but we’ll keep you updated when they do.