PayPal Sues Google Over Mobile-Payment Secrets

Category: General News | Posted on May 28, 2011

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Bloomberg reports that is suing and two of its executives, claiming that the search giant has misappropriated trade secrets from its mobile payment business. The company alleges that Osama Bedier, a former exec now employed by Google, stole confidential information from is now leading Google’s efforts to “bring point of sale technologies and services to retailers on its behalf.”

“Bedier and Google have misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google and to major retailers,” Bloomberg cites PayPal’s suit as saying.

Also named in the suit is Stephanie Tilenius, who also left her position at PayPal to go and work for Google. Tilenius supposedly breached her contract by recruiting Bedier and Bedier is thought to have hired away PayPal employees too.

Unnamed PayPal sources that spoke to GigaOm say Bedier, who previously led PayPal’s mobile payment and point-of-sale efforts, had access to information regarding technologies, strategies and partnerships for PayPal’s own venture. In fact, Bedier was apparently leading talks with Google regarding the possibility of PayPal becoming the prime payment option for Android and at the same time interviewing with Google for the mobile payments job. Assuming all this is true, it’s hard to see how Bedier would be able to keep that information separate from his work on a very similar product at Google. Throw in the fact that PayPal is supposedly preparing to make a “sweeping product announcement in the coming days relating to open commerce platforms and mobile payments” and it’s easy to see why they might be feeling a little peeved.

For its part, Google has said it will defend itself against the allegations.

“Silicon Valley was built on the ability of individuals to use their knowledge and expertise to seek better employment opportunities, an idea recognized by both California law and public policy,” Google spokesman Aaron Zamost is quoted as saying. “We respect trade secrets, and will defend ourselves against these claims.”

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