back to article Google accused of stealing PayPal's mobile payment secrets

PayPal has sued Google and two Google executives who defected from PayPal to help the search giant's push into mobile payments. The suit was filed in California on Thursday, the same day Google unveiled its mobile payments system in New York. The suit (PDF) alleges that Google and Osama Bedier – the PayPal mobile payments exec …


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  1. petur

    Over here...

    Don't know how this goes in the US, but here in Belgium most companies put in your contract that you can't go working for a customer/partner within the next x years unless the companies have an agreement (which includes cash most of the time - just not for you)

    Still, this can't really be about the technical development of this mobile payment, you can't just write this thing in a few months. Sounds a bit like that claim of android copying iphone just because it came out a bit later. Development takes more time than that.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      In the States...

      You have to sign a contract.

      In the contract there are a couple of key phrases...

      1) If any paragraph of this contract is invalidated then only that paragraph is invalidated and the rest of the contract as a whole is still enforceable. (Or something to that effect.)

      2) If the company like IBM says that you can't work for any of IBM's customers, the paragraph is too vague and is in conflict with your right to work. So while that statement is in the contract, its unenforceable. Because the enforceability of this paragraph varies from state to state, its left in.

      3) Companies then add a second separate paragraph which states that you can't go to work for a specific company X, and or Y, this clause generally is enforceable.

      Again it depends on the state, court and judge to determine enforceability.

      With respect to this lawsuit, it looks like Google has taken a page out of Microsoft's playbook.

      (Hey! Its not evil, its *big* *business*. We would never do anything evil, right? Trust us...)

      [That was sarcasm.]

      You are right that you can't just create a payment system out of thin air overnight. And while it takes many months, you can always reduce the time it takes by hiring people who've already done it once before. Which is why a company will hire someone with the specific skills. The issue is that the person who left PayPal left with specific intellectual property developed at Pay pal for Pay pal. On the surface, the lawsuit has merit.

      1. BillG

        With respect to this lawsuit, it looks like Google has taken a page out of Microsoft's playbook.

        "Google's head Android man, Andy Rubin, told Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha that if Motorola didn't drop Skyhook from its Android phones, Google would remove official Android support."

        What was that song?

        "The party on the left, is now the party on the right."

  2. Ross K Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Insert title here

    Nice to see Paypal being on the receiving end of a shafting for a change...

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Ebay alternative

      To be honest I'd rather see some decent competition to Ebay.

      If there is any they're not doing a very good job of promoting it.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    PayPal mobile engine idea stolen?

    I don't support idea's being ripped off, but in this case it couldn't have happened to a better company than PP. The sooner PP pack up and go away the better.

    1. Britt Johnston

      money corrupts

      What makes you think that Googlebank is going to be so much nicer?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Google any better?

        It may not well be any better, but it still doesn't make PayPal any better either does it. Hardly think PayPal can't be justified as 'better the devil you know', more 'better the devil, better watch you don't have your funds reversed without reasonable explaination.

      2. MCG


        It doesn't need to be nicer, it just needs to be a little bit more efficient and customer-friendly than PayPal - not a tall order!

  4. Goffee

    Easily solved

    Google payout, case goes away, Note the Reg needs a Filthy Lucre icon, I guess tha handbag will do for now.

    UPDATED - PayPal suing Google over alleged executive shenanigans on Google Wallet via @cmswire

  5. Philip Cohen

    Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

    Bear in mind that PayPal is mainly registered in various places as only a “money transmitter”, and PayPal actually claims to not be a “payments processor”, and there is a minute degree of truth in that claim because they do no more than ride on the back of the retail banks’ existing payments processing system. The only thing creative about PayPal is their use of the email address as an identifier for online transactions. Regardless, as they are no more than a blood-sucking parasite on the banks’ existing system, PayPal, outside of whatever is ultimately left of the Donahoe-devastated eBay Marketplace, will eventually be consigned to the history books by those same banks/Visa/Mastercard once those players get their act together.

    All anyone needs to know about the clunky PayPal:

    Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Look into my crystal ball....

    What scares me about this is the idea of paypal having anything to do with a payment system that is likely to be (if the press is anything to go by) ubiquitous in a couple of years.

    At the moment, we can all avoid PP if we want to (I canceled my ebay account because PP became compulsory). I dread to think of a future where PP is endemic in day-to-day financial stuff.

  7. kain preacher Silver badge

    @Ian Michael Gumby

    it even simpler than you stated . Google and Pay pal are both in California. In California none compete clauses are not valid.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @kain preacher

      Uhm no, not exactly.

      There have been several lawsuits that have been settled out of court because the courts have to weigh the facts of the case and neither side wants to risk setting a bad precedence.

      In many of these cases the exec would hold a position outside of the specific work they did until the non compete period ends.

      But this case goes beyond that... There are allegations of theft of IP. Also the fact that the person from Paypal was in a fiduciary position during the failed negotiations. It's these accusations which are more damaging than just poaching an exec.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What secrets...?

    A crappy 1990s hosted ecommerce app? Never wasting money on improvements? Or customer service?

    Sorry, but using email as an identifier is, as the patent lawyers say, TRIVIAL and OBVIOUS.

  9. Charles Smith

    Prior art....

    The technique is nothing new. Other people were using it before PayPal.

    PayPal would better spend its time if it focussed on the weaknesses in its own system. We've blacklisted the use of PayPal for payment because we found it was damaging our credit reputation.

    PayPal's gripe is because an employee involved in joint development bunny hopped to the employment of Google. Yawn! That is what happens when employees see better working conditions on the other side of the fence.

  10. Dave Bell

    The Conflict of Interests

    If the allegations are true, the guy was working for Paypal on the Google deal, while applying for a job with Google.

    That doesn't look like a no-compete issue. It looks like corruption.

  11. Steven Roper

    Osama Bedier?

    Considering this guy lives in the US, I would think he'd be looking at changing his name pretty soon. Having the first name of Osama would probably get you more trouble these days than having the surname Hitler...

    Hmm, Osama Hitler. Where's the deed poll office?

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