In December 2011 PhoenDog LLC filed a lawsuit against company blogger and Smartphone reviewer Noah Kravitz after he changed the company’s Twitter page to his old name, essentially stealing the websites Twitter followers after leaving the organization. On Wednesday U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James said she will allow the case against him to move forward.
In filing a lawsuit against Noah PhoneDog LLC claims he owes them $340,000, the equivalent of $2.50 per follower.
If you’re unfamiliar with the case Kravitz started the Twitter account @Phonedog_Noah while working for several years at PhoneDog, when he left the company in October 2010 he changed the handle to @noahkravitz and kept the 17,000 followers he had amassed during his time at PhoneDog.
Speaking about the courts decision Kravitz’s lawyer Cary Kletter said:
“The Court’s decision yesterday [Monday] in effect means that PhoneDog has met the minimum requirements to survive a motion seeking to throw PhoneDog’s claims out of court, but it was not a decision as to whether or not PhoneDog is entitled to the relief it seeks … Ultimately PhoneDog will be unable to prove its allegations against Mr. Kravitz, and Mr. Kravitz will prevail.”
While some website owners and company’s will be paying close attention to the outcome of the case it should be noted that this isn’t a precedent-setting lawsuit as it will be “fact specific” and judged on the individual merits and similar situations faced by other company’s.
In any case websites that hire bloggers without a full contract in place will be paying close attention to the case to determine the legal merits of their own writers.