Snapchat has filed for a temporary restraining order against Reggie Brown, the man who claims to have invented the idea for disappearing messages. According to court documents filed today, the ousted founder allegedly leaked confidential information to the press, prompting Snapchat to file a motion with the court.
Within the motion, Snapchat’s counsel Quinn Emanuel wrote that Brown has refused to comply with the Protective Order, which designates almost all of the information provided in the case as confidential.
If the court grants the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction request, Brown and his lawyers will be subject to fines, contempt sanctions, and a number of other punishments including reimbursement of resources and even dismissal of the lawsuit altogether.
The filing states that Snapchat would incur irreparable harm if more of its confidential information were to enter the public arena. Apparently, the company has submitted materials related to future business plans, sensitive personal information about the defendants, as well as thousands of pages worth of sensitive financial information in the discovery portion of the trial.
Here’s a direct excerpt from the filing:
The requested relief is necessary to prevent great or irreparable injury to Snapchat. Snapchat 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. Plaintiff and his counsel purport to reserve the right to disclose any and all such information to the public at any time. Indeed, plaintiff has apparently scheduled imminent “exclusive” interviews with additional media outlets to discuss this case. In the absence of the relief sought, it is highly likely that plaintiff and his counsel will commit additional violations of the Protective Order.
The motion mentions that Reggie Brown plans to give an “exclusive interview” to GQ magazine.
It’s also worth noting that Snapchat investors, who are named as defendants in the case, have changed their legal representation. As you may recall, there’s been some drama in the lawyer department during this never-ending legal battle.
Originally, Snapchat was represented by Cooley LLP, and then changed in April to Quinn Emanuel. Brown then filed a complaint with the court claiming that Quinn Emanuel had, for a very short time, represented him. After a few months, the court decided to deny Brown’s motion to disqualify Snapchat’s representation.
Now, Snapchat’s investors have switched legal representation, from Quinn Emanuel to Durie Tangri, LLP. We’ve reached out to both Quinn Emanuel and Durie Tangri, as well as some Snapchat investors to see why this switch was made.
Here’s the full text of the motion for a Restraining Order: