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Booted Snapchat creator wins mini victory in ongoing suit

A district court judge sided with Reggie Brown and ordered the case back to state court where it will continue.

Reggie Brown, Bobby Murphy, and Evan Spiegel, pictured left to right, celebrating Snapchat's launch in July 2011. Screenshot/Jennifer Van Grove/CNET

Ousted Snapchat inventor Reggie Brown and his legal team were handed a little victory Monday by US District Judge Gary Klausner. Klausner ruled in favor of Brown's motion to remand the case back to state court, where it was filed last February, and denied Snapchat's motion to dismiss the case.

Brown is suing Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging application worth billions. In the suit, Brown asserts that he came up with the idea for disappearing picture messages while attending Stanford, shared the concept with his fraternity brother Evan Spiegel, and was later pushed out of the company in the summer of 2011. Brown is suing for a one-third stake in the startup, which he argues was wrongfully transferred to other entities.

Though the case is far from over, Judge Klausner's decision, included below, means that the lawsuit will move forward in state court, where it was originally filed.

Snapchat's lawyers removed the case from state court in November, claiming that the matter was an issue of copyright to be decided by a federal court. The defendants also filed for a temporary restraining order against Brown, who they said violated a protective order when his legal team leaked footage from taped depositions to the media.

Monday's ruling makes both Snapchat's request for a temporary restraining order against Brown and its motion to dismiss the case moot as they were filed with the federal court.