Intel Corp. v. Hamidi, 30 Cal. 4th 1342 (2003)

Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, a former Intel engineer, formed an organization named Former and Current Employees of Intel (FACE-Intel) to disseminate information and views critical of Intel’s employment and personnel policies and practices. Over a 21-month period, Hamidi sent as many as 35,000 messages to e-mail addresses at Intel. The trial court granted Intel’s application for an injunction, permanently enjoining Hamidi “from sending unsolicited e-mail to addresses on Intel’s computer systems.” The Court of Appeal affirmed the grant of injunctive relief, but the California Supreme Court reversed in a 4-to-3 vote, declining to extend California common law to cover, as a trespass to chattels, “an otherwise harmless electronic communication whose contents are objectionable.” The Supreme Court further concluded that since there was no trespass to chattels, it did not need to address Hamidi’s constitutional challenges.