Snapchat Files Restraining Order Against Alleged Co-Founder
Snapchat has filed a restraining order against Reggie Brown, who claims he had a hand in founding the widely popular social media app. Brown and his lawyers responded Monday, calling the restraining order request “meritless.”
Snapchat alleges in the court documents that Brown, a former fraternity brother of CEO Evan Spiegel, publicized confidential materials related to the app and an ongoing lawsuit. The restraining order filed Friday seeks to prevent Brown from sharing any additional information with the public.
An Ongoing Legal Battle
The temporary restraining order comes in the midst of a related court case. Brown filed a lawsuit against Snapchat in February, claiming he initially came up with the idea for the app and never received recognition or compensation for helping to found it.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, CTO Bobby Murphy and others named in the case write in the restraining order: â€śSnapchat has produced substantial amounts of commercially sensitive and private information in this case, including among other things highly confidential financial and investment information related to Snapchat’s business, sensitive information regarding Snapchat’s business plans, and private, personal communications of individual third parties subject to rights of privacy under the California Constitution.â€ť
The motion claims that Brown has already disclosed some confidential information to the media, leaking videos of several depositions as well as copies of related email conversations. Brown’s actions caused the information to be published on Business Insider.
The videos alone are incriminating. In one, Spiegel states simply, “Reggie did,” when asked who came up with the idea for disappearing picture messages. In another, he hesitates before saying, â€śReggie may deserve something for some of his contributions.â€ť
Here’s the request for a temporary restraining order:
Brown Responds to Restraining Order Request
Brown filed a response yesterday to the request for a temporary restraining order, according to Business Insider. The document reads, “Defendantsâ€™ Application is a meritless attempt to scapegoat plaintiffsâ€™ counsel for defense counselâ€™s neglect of their own responsibilities and their strategic mistake of initiating the disclosure of discovery materials to the public.”
In other words, Spiegel and Murphy did it first. Brown argues in the document that both sides were leaking information to the media. He argues that Spiegel and Murphy take issue not with the fact that Brown disclosed information but with the fact that his disclosure managed to sway public opinion in his favor. He also states that the leaked deposition videos could not have been confidential, as transcripts of the videos have been available to the public for months.
Brown and Snapchat both have a lot on the line in this court case. Brown claims one-third of the app is rightfully his, which would evenly split the company between him, Spiegel and Murphy, according tothe deposition video below. If Brown wins the case, he’ll be looking at a slice of the company’s $4 billion value.
Here is the full response from Brown’s law firm: