Rappi Defeats Trade Secret Misappropriation Case

San Francisco – July 15, 2021 – Cooley secured a complete victory for Rappi, an on-demand delivery super app in Latin America, by obtaining dismissal of a high-stakes trade secret misappropriation case that contested the invention and ownership of Rappi’s business model. Lawyers Mike Rhodes, Patrick Gunn and Lilia Lopez led the Cooley team advising Rappi.

The dispute centered on allegations by the plaintiffs that the founders of Rappi had misappropriated the idea for the Rappi app after receiving access to plaintiffs’ business plans through a Colombian consulting firm. They claimed that Rappi and one of its founders violated both the Defend Trade Secret Act and California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Further, the plaintiffs argued that California was the proper place for the litigation because Rappi participated in the Bay Area startup accelerator Y Combinator, and Rappi’s Delaware-based holding company maintained a mailbox in San Francisco.

Given the Colombia-centric nature of the dispute, the Cooley team sought early dismissal of the case based on forum non conveniens, or alternatively, lack of personal jurisdiction. US District Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California was persuaded and dismissed the complaint in its entirety.

Rappi is an all-purpose delivery application that aims to be the personal assistant for its users. With more than seven million users and a presence in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador and Costa Rica, its platform enables users to order and receive deliveries for a broad set of goods, including groceries, meals, beverages, electronics and medical prescriptions.

Cooley had advised Rappi since 2016, including on its $220 million funding round in 2018, which established its unicorn status; its up to $1 billion investment by SoftBank in 2019; and its more than $300 million financing round in 2020.

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Related Contacts
Michael Rhodes Partner San Francisco
Patrick Gunn Partner in Charge – San Francisco San Francisco
Sharon Song Associate San Francisco
Jorge Sarmiento Associate New York