In legal circles, we’ve all been anxiously awaiting a result in the case of Eagle v. Morgan (download here) — a case out of Pennsylvania where the issue who owned a LinkedIn page and contacts (the employee vs. the employer) was front and center.
I talked about it in a post late last year, but if you still need to get up to speed on the case, the Employer Law Report blog has an excellent recap here. I won ‘t repeat what is said there, but I do want to focus on a few things.
The case is not terribly complex both legally and factually.
In the main claim, the former company founder alleged that the company wrongly took over her LinkedIn account (and using her password) in an attempt to divert business back to the company. She alleged a variety of legal theories associated with such an action.
The company, in turn, had filed a counterclaim that the employee misappropriated the LinkedIn account. It argued that it had invested time and effort into employees’ LinkedIn account.
As to the counterclaim, the court rejected it because the company never had a policy that required, for example, required its employees to use LinkedIn. A big flaw in the argument was that the LinkedIn User agreement says that the accounts are between LinkedIn and the individual. Therefore, the Company had no business idea that was misappropriated.
The employee was able to show that the company “used” her name and derived commercial benefit from her likeness. The employee also prevailed on her invasion of privacy claim and misappropriation of publicity claim as well.
But such a victory is a hollow one for the employee. Continue Reading Does Your CEO Own Her LinkedIn Account? One Court Says Yes, But…