Pinterest is calling on the court to dismiss one influencer’s claim that she is an uncredited co-founder
Pinterest wants a lawsuit dismissed by a woman who claims she was an uncredited co-founder because she said she played no role in starting the company.
Christine Martinez, who has long been a popular influencer on Pinterest, originally filed a complaint against Pinterest in September for alleging an implied breach of contract, theft of ideas, unjust enrichment and unfair business practices. Martinez claims she helped acclaimed founders Ben Silbermann and Paul Sciarra get Pinterest off the ground in 2009 when the two shifted their focus from a shopping app to the social media company.
Pinterest went public in 2019, and its stock was suggested during the pandemic as more users browsed its app at home. Silbermann remains CEO of the company. Sciarra left soon after the company was founded. Both still hold lucrative stakes in the company valued at more than $ 1 billion.
In a new lawsuit in California’s Superior Court, Pinterest continues to push for the dismissal, arguing that Martinez waited too long to bring this up because her claims are statute-barred outside of statute of limitations. Martinez hasn’t specified exactly how much she thinks she deserves, although a stake in Pinterest similar to that of Silbermann and Sciarra would be worth over a billion dollars.
It’s unclear why Martinez waited more than a decade to file their claims, while former and current Pinterest employees said they barely remember them. She is not described as a co-founder in any previous coverage of the company, and in her 2012 book How To Succeed on Pinterest, The Complete Idiots Guide to Pinterest MarketingShe just describes herself as an “early adopter”.
The battle between Martinez and Pinterest is complicated by several things. Though she co-founded or not, it is clear that she and Silbermann were once friends, supposedly close enough to perform at Silbermann’s wedding reception. In addition, last year Pinterest was hit by complaints from several employees that female employees and people of color had been mistreated. Last month it pledged to spend $ 50 million on diversity initiatives within the company to end litigation brought about by Pinterest shareholders. In 2020, it agreed to pay $ 22.5 million to former chief operating officer FranÃ§oise Brougher, who filed a case of racial and gender discrimination.