Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th May 2011 21:50 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Legal Ding ding ding ding - I think we have a record here. Launched yesterday, Google Wallet has already attracted a lawsuit. While patent lawsuits are teh shizzle these days, this lawsuit is a little different, so sadly I can't trot out my usual 'software patents bad' lines (aww). PayPal has sued Google over its Wallet service, claiming that one key former PayPal executive who accepted a job at Google took trade secrets with him.
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pantheraleo
Member since:
2007-03-07

Well, with any software development job, you almost invariably sign an agreement that survives your departure from the company that says you will not share that company's trade secrets with a future employer. Actually, in most other states, PayPal would probably win. But courts in the state of California are often very unfriendly to non-compete clauses. It does seem like Google used some very underhanded business practices, and possible some illegal ones here though, to dupe PayPal into thinking they were going to sign a deal with them to use PayPal for online payments, luring some of PayPal's top talent away, then using that talent to develop their own competing service and backing out of the deal they had lead PayPal to believe they were going to sign with them.

This one's definitely going to be interesting. PayPal definitely has a legitimate case I think though.

Edited 2011-05-28 01:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, with any software development job, you almost invariably sign an agreement that survives your departure from the company that says you will not share that company's trade secrets with a future employer.


Which in some cases is effectively a restriction on a persons ability to seek alternative work in a related position or area where they have the most expertise.

But courts in the state of California are often very unfriendly to non-compete clauses.


It's certainly more employee friendly, yes.

It does seem like Google used some very underhanded business practices, and possible some illegal ones here though


Why did you leap to that conclusion? All Google have done is to hire someone who used to work at another large company based in and around the Valley. That's hardly a rare or special event. Unless Google specifically asked Bedier to spill the beans and provide intimate knowledge of PayPal, they haven't done anything wrong.

dupe PayPal...luring some of PayPal's top talent away...backing out of the deal


Why would Google even bother to set up a "fake deal" in the first place? If they wanted to hire people to build Google Wallet they can advertise the positions, accept applications and hire suitable candidates. What benefit is it to Google to "pretend" to want to sign a deal? There is none.

Edited 2011-05-28 14:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Which in some cases is effectively a restriction on a persons ability to seek alternative work in a related position or area where they have the most expertise.



Not really. It's more an issue of, if I am chemist at Coca-Cola, I can leave and go work for Pepsi. But I can't share Coca-Cola's secret formula with Pepsi.

Why did you leap to that conclusion? All Google have done is to hire someone who used to work at another large company based in and around the Valley.



Not "used to work". They actively did work for PayPal while Google was trying to lure them away, at the same time that Google was actively trying to set up a partnership with PayPal. In addition, at least one of them actively worked for PayPal and Google at the same time according to the article. That's clearly a conflict of interest given that Google was planning a competing product. That one's not really even up for discussion.

Why would Google even bother to set up a "fake deal" in the first place?


Not saying they set up a "fake deal". Only that actively working on a deal with a partner while at the same time, courting their top talent to come work for you, and then after you have managed to recruit their top talent, you back out of the deal and announce you are creating a competing product is shady at best. And possibly illegal. It's likely there were at least some contractual breaches here regarding conflict of interest on Google's part.

Edited 2011-05-28 14:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3