Richtek USA, Inc. v. uPI Semiconductor Corp., 242 Cal. App. 4th 651 (2015)

Richtek sued three of its former employees (all residents of Taiwan) and the company they formed (uPI Semiconductor) for misappropriation of Richtek’s trade secrets. The trial court sustained the former employees’ demurrer to the complaint on the ground that the lawsuit was barred by the Taiwanese statute of limitations after taking judicial notice of related complaints that were filed in Taiwan. The Court of Appeal reversed the dismissal of Richtek’s claims on the ground that the trial court had improperly resolved the disputed issue of when Richtek had knowledge of the misappropriation based upon its judicial notice of documents contained in the Taiwanese judicial proceeding that contradicted allegations contained in Richtek’s complaint. However, the Court affirmed the dismissal of one of the former employees from the lawsuit based upon a forum selection clause in his employment agreement that mandates a Taiwanese forum.