Trade secret lawsuit filed over employee’s social media account

A recent New York Times article covers a lawsuit filed by PhoneDog, a mobile products research and review company, against one of its former employees.

In November 2011, the Chief Judge of the Northern District of California decided that the lawsuit, which generally alleges that the former employee’s Twitter account contains trade secrets (approximately 17,000 followers/PhoneDog customers) that belong to PhoneDog, satisfied the amount in controversy requirement necessary to establish federal jurisdiction. In other words, the court concluded it was at least plausible that the Twitter account in question is worth $75,000. PhoneDog claims the “customer list” is worth $340,000. Stay tuned to see if the court decides that an employee’s work-related social media accounts belong to the employer.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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