By Ross Todd Published: 08.04.2016
Ninth Circuit Sides With App Developer in Trade Secrets Fight
SAN FRANCISCO—The Ninth Circuit won’t short circuit a suit brought by a San Francisco startup that accuses French telecom giant Orange S.A. of stealing its technology for making phone calls over social media after acquisition talks fizzled.
Lawyers for Orange at Foley Hoag and Durie Tangri had argued that Telesocial’s suit should be shut down because a nondisclosure agreement that the companies signed during their negotiations included a forum selection clause routing disputes to the Court of Paris. U.S. Senior Circuit Judge J. Clifford Wallace, however, wrote that the district judge overseeing the case was not required to defer to the forum selection clause in a dispute that emerged from events after deal talks broke down.
Renee Bea of Singer/Bea LLP, who represents Telesocial, called Friday’s opinion “a critical decision” for U.S. tech companies that draw interest from companies abroad.