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Snapchat Founders Still Feuding; Company Seeks Restraining Order

By William Peacock, Esq. on December 10, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What's a Snapchat?

It's a simple app. It allows users to send self-destructing pictures to each other. It's pretty much a glorified way to send pictures of your naughty bits to others, with the assurance that the image will delete itself after a few seconds. We recently cited the company's rumored $4 billion valuation (the actual number is somewhere around $2 billion, per Business Insider) as a sign of the coming techpocalypse.

The incredibly popular app was devised by three guys in college. One got cut out. He's now suing. He's also giving interviews to anyone and everyone about the dispute. This, unsurprisingly, is making Snapchat (and its founders) angry, and they're now seeking a restraining order.

Whose Idea is it Anyway?

The dispute revolves around a simple question: who thought of the sexting app?

Late last month, someone leaked the deposition of CEO Evan Spiegel to Business Insider. In the videos, he admitted that his former frat brother at Stanford, Reggie Brown, was part of the trio that came up with the idea for the app (in fact, the idea was Brown's).

Brown is seeking an equal share of the company with the other cofounders -- Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, a third frat brother whose deposition was also leaked. During his deposition, Spiegel admitted that, "Reggie may deserve something for some of his contributions."

Did You Say Leaked Depositions?

Yep. And though Business Insider doesn't disclose its source in the article, it has to be someone close to the case, as not only were deposition clips provided, but emails were put on display as well.

Oh, and the case is covered by a protective order, which designates the information as confidential, reports TechCrunch.

That's a Problem, Right?

Damn skippy. Snapchat has filed for a restraining order, claiming that Brown admitted to leaking the information, and "reserv[ed] the right" to continue leaking materials to the press, according to the TRO application.

In the filing, Snapchat claims that the company 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."

And apparently, Brown plans on granting an exclusive interview to GQ magazine, an interview that Snapchat fears will lead to further airing of dirty laundry (and corporate secrets). Their application for a TRO seeks to prevent that. It also seeks attorneys fees and discovery as to how much information has been leaked.

BigLaw legal maneuvering at its finest folks.

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