(Reuters) - French telecom group Orange SA confirmed on Wednesday that it has been sued in California by San Francisco-based startup Telesocial in an intellectual property case, but said that the startup's claims were unfounded.
Orange said Telesocial has already taken the company to two French courts including the Paris Court of Appeal based on the same complaints, but in both cases the claims were rejected.
"This reinforces our view that Telesocial's complaints are totally lacking in merit," the group said in an emailed statement.
The complaints relate to an application that lets users make phone calls via their Facebook profiles.
According to an earlier report in the Financial Times on the subject, Telesocial said that the PartyCall app, launched in November 2012 by Orange, was based on its own code that it shared with the company during negotiation of a deal that the telecom carrier later dropped. (on.ft.com/1BVpkf3)
Telesocial's complaint included server logs that it claims show several Orange employees gaining unauthorized access to its servers to "copy and reverse engineer Telesocial's proprietary application and related technologies."
A Telesocial spokesman said on Wednesday that "it is not Telesocial but Orange which has had its case dismissed twice in France", adding that Telesocial had not called for a full examination of the case in France at this stage.
Reporting by Ankush Sharma in Bengaluru, and Hannah Murphy, Gwenaelle Barzic and Pascale Denis in Paris; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Andrew Callus