Question of who owns source code proceeds to trial in trade secrets case

Plaintiff sued its competitor in the mobile payment space for, among other things, trade secret misappropriation. Plaintiff claimed that defendant created its products using source code copied from plaintiff by two of plaintiff’s former employees who now work for defendant.

Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff did not own the source code (and the trade secrets in it), because an independent contractor created the source code.

The court denied the motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff had provided evidence that the source code was written by a number of parties (including its own employees) and not just the independent contractor that defendant claimed owned the source code. The court held that plaintiff had presented evidence to raise genuine issues for trial as to who wrote what code.

Citcon, USA, LLC v. RiverPay Inc., 2019 WL 2327885 (N.D. Cal., May 31, 2019)