Biosense Webster, Inc. v. Superior Court, 135 Cal. App. 4th 827 (2006)

Biosense, a manufacturer and seller of electrophysiology catheters and anatomical mapping devices, had its employees sign non-competition agreements prohibiting them from providing services to “conflicting organizations” for 18 months after leaving Biosense. After three of its former employees went to work for St. Jude Medical, one of its competitors, Biosense threatened St. Jude with litigation for “unlawful raiding” of its employees. In response, St. Jude filed a lawsuit against Biosense for declaratory relief and unfair competition under Sections 16600 and 17200 of the California Business and Professions Code and sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) and order to show cause (OSC) re preliminary injunction. The trial court granted the TRO enjoining Biosense from commencing any action other than in the Superior Court of the State of California to enforce any non-competition agreement with the three former employees and issued the OSC re preliminary injunction. However, the Court of Appeal granted Biosense’s petition for writ of mandate and concluded that the trial court erred in granting the TRO prohibiting Biosense from commencing an action in a sister state (based on Advanced Bionics Corp. v. Medtronic, Inc., 29 Cal. 4th 697 (2002)) or in federal court.