Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Salebuild Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit
On December 31, 2015, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati obtained a victory for client Salebuild at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit when the court fully reinstated Salebuild's trade secret misappropriation suit against Flexisales. The suit alleges that Flexisales, with the assistance of former Salebuild employees, misappropriated data owned by Salebuild by taking and selling that data without authorization. The suit had previously been dismissed under the doctrine of forum non conveniens by the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada on the basis that India was a more convenient forum for the dispute because the alleged trade secrets were stolen in India by persons located in India and the parties were "foreign." After dismissal of the suit, Salebuild hired Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to take over the case and to pursue an appeal.
In its order reversing and remanding the action back to the trial court, the Ninth Circuit agreed with the firm on every point, concluding that "the district court abused its discretion in finding that India is a more convenient forum for this action," and that Salebuild "may pursue [its] action in the forum [it] selected." The Ninth Circuit held that because the case involved a U.S. plaintiff suing a U.S. defendant for injury felt in the U.S., Salebuild's choice of a U.S. forum for the lawsuit was entitled to deference—despite the presence of a foreign co-plaintiff and despite the fact that the original trade secret theft occurred in India. The case is Salebuild, Inc., et al v. Flexisales, Inc., No. 14-15085 (9th Cir.), No. 2:12-cv-01403-JAD-GWF (D. Nev.).
For more information, please refer to the court's opinion.