Monday, February 27, 2012

Lawsuit Follows When Twitter Followers Follow Tweeter to New Job

phonedogphonedog (Photo credit: Brad Weikel)In a 13-page complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, a Delaware corporation based in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, is suing its former editor and video blogger who jumped to a rival company with 17,000 Twitter followers in tow.

USA Today reported on the case, PhoneDog, LLC v. Noah Kravitz (Case No. 3:11-cv-03474), in which the plaintiff, an 11-year-old company that provides information, news and reviews concerning phones and related technology, sued the defendant, who went to work in December 2010, for PhoneDog rival TechnoBuffalo. Not to go off-topic, but what is this technogeek obsession with the animal kingdom?

According to the lawsuit, PhoneDog has analogized Kravitz's  faithful Twitter followers to a proprietary customer list and wants the defendant to kick in $340,000, or $2.50 apiece for the 17,000 followers over an eight-month period. The plaintiff's Website also asserts that the defendant previously promised not to use the Twitter account to say sweet things about technology companies other than PhoneDog.  Kravitz contends PhoneDog over-inflated the worth of the followers, and that Twitter, not PhoneDog, is the true owner of the Kravitz account at issue.


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