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PayPal Sues Google for Stealing Trade Secrets

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PayPal Sues Google for Stealing Trade Secrets

Tom Purves

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PayPal is now accusing Google of stealing trade secrets by hiring a PayPal executive who had access to its confidential information, reports said Friday.

Osama Bedier left PayPal in January after nine years to become the vice president of payments for Google, according to Reuters. Also named in the suit is Stephanie Tilenius, a former PayPal employee, who is accused of recruiting Bedier "thereby breaking a contractual agreement with eBay."

According to Bloomberg:

Bedier “is now leading Google’s efforts to bring point of sale technologies and services to retailers on its behalf,” according to the complaint. “Bedier and Google have misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google and to major retailers.”

PayPal alleges that Bedier became cozy with Google after leading negotiations with the search giant on a PayPal payment option for the Android Market.

PayPal is angry that trade secrets may have been given away, but some of those trade secrets had to be already given away when PayPal partnered with Google for mobile payments. The real truth is that PayPal is developing a near-field communications payment system so people can essentially "wave and pay" with their mobile devices. Does it sound a little like Google Wallet or Square's Card Case? You bet it does.

But Google has put in the time. It's been working on its NFC project for years, having acquired companies and patents to make it a reality. While what Bedier did was highly unethical, this PayPal suit may be more about sour grapes than corporate espionage.

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