March 1, 2006 5:35 PM PST

Yahoo gets early win on trade secrets case

A California state judge has given Yahoo its first legal win against a start-up that Yahoo sued for stealing trade secrets.

Yahoo sued San Francisco-based wireless content provider MForma earlier this week, contending that a group of former Yahoo employees left the company and took proprietary source-code and business information to their new jobs.

A judge on Wednesday granted Yahoo's request for a temporary restraining order, barring MForma employees from using or disclosing any proprietary Yahoo information in their work.

In a statement Wednesday, MForma Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Sacks said the seven former Yahoo employees would continue at their jobs as the lawsuit progressed.

"Yahoo has gone too far in wrongfully accusing us of a conspiracy that doesn?t exist," Sacks said in his statement. "If they are having problems retaining engineers, they should be looking at the internal sources of employee dissatisfaction rather than trying to cover that up with this legal action."

A Yahoo representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

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