Google recently announced the launch of its new business venture, Google Wallet. Last week, PayPal and eBay sued Google over Google Wallet, saying that the service was developed by former PayPal and eBay employees who had illegally shared trade secrets and intellectual property with Google. PayPal and eBay are alleging breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets in the development of Google Wallet because former employees of both companies were instrumental in Google’s new online payment service.
According to International Business Times, Google’s current Vice President of Commerce and Payments used to work at eBay as well as in Merchant Services at PayPal. She moved to Google in 2009. Once at Google, she was working on a deal between PayPal and Google involving online payments and reached out to a former colleague to talk with him about a new opportunity at Google. That former PayPal employee is now the Vice President of Payments at Google.
The lawsuit will claim that the former employee of eBay and PayPal did not wait long enough while at Google before trying to recruit a former colleague. Google itself has a section in its employment contract that says that new employees have to wait a year before they recruit colleagues.
It will be interesting to see what will happen in this case. At the same time, another, opposite case is pending regarding the movement of people between competing companies. According to International Business Times, a class-action lawsuit is pending that claims that various technology companies, including Google and Adobe, unfairly limit their employees’ opportunities and compensation by placing overly restrictive rules on who can recruit who and who can move when and where and how. The Justice Department is looking into the class action.
Suit Alleges Google Wallet Pickpocketing Paypal (International Business Times)