Facebook Inc. would no longer get information about third-party funding of a trade secrets litigation from an artificial intelligence start-up. The start-up Neural Magic Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the social media behemoth. The complaint was filed in federal court in Boston. The lawsuit is being heard by U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler. He did, however, deny Facebook’s petition to discover in an electronic order so that the sought material may be tagged as irrelevant or not appropriate to the purposes of the case.
The discovery disagreement dates back to March of 2020 when Neural Magic filed a lawsuit claiming Facebook as well as a former employee of misusing computer algorithms critical to the startup firm. Aleksandar Zlateski, a previous employee of the firm, has joined the social media firm.
Facebook’s plea, on the other hand, remained unanswered. The startup responded to Facebook & Zlateski’s request for information also on the identities of the lawsuit funder as well as the terms of a funding agreement. “A large majority of courts have considered their request irrelevant,” according to Neural Magic.
Patrick Curran of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan represented Neural Magic. Facebook and Zlateski also requested from the start-lawyers up’s assessments of the start-claims up’s as well as papers demonstrating the valuations of alleged trade secrets. “Facebook’s stated material is relevant to damages and/or disclosure, to contradict NMI’s ‘David and Goliath’ theme, and also to protect against juror bias,” according to the startup. “The information is not relevant to the allegations or is guarded by attorney work product protection,” Neural Magic asserted.
Christopher Henry of Latham & Watkins is a lawyer who represents Facebook. Zlateski was represented by Beck Reed Riden attorney Russell Beck. “Some of the sought materials are irrelevant,” Bowler wrote in his order. Others, such as those relating to projected incurred losses and trade secret values, were relevant to some extent but aren’t proportional to the issue.”
The case is Neural Magic Inc v. Facebook Inc, case no. 1:20-cv-10444 in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.