Google has been accused of racketeering in a new lawsuit, which claims the company “has a pattern of stealing trade secrets from people it first invites to collaborate,” according to a report.
In the lawsuit, architect Eli Attia claims he spent 50 years developing “game-changing technology” for “building construction,” only to have Google steal it after pretending to work with him.
“Google and its co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin ‘plotted to squeeze Attia out of the project’ and pretended to kill it but used Attia’s technology to ‘surreptitiously’ spin off Project Genie into a new company,” reported the Mercury News, which added that Google X Founder Sebastian Thrun and division head Eric Teller were also named in the lawsuit.
In an interview, Attia’s lawyer Eric Buether claimed the “real adding-insult-to-injury was Google telling him the project had been canceled and they weren’t going forward with it when in fact they were going full blast on it.”
“It’s cheaper to steal than to develop your own technology,” he continued, adding, “You can take it from somebody else and you have a virtually unlimited budget to fight these things in court.”
According to the report, the lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2014, now contains additional allegations of racketeering, after “Attia’s legal team uncovered six other incidents in which Google had engaged in a ‘substantially similar fact pattern of misappropriation of trade secrets’ from other people or companies, according to a July 25 legal filing from Attia.”
“Google would solicit a party to share with it highly confidential trade secrets under a non-disclosure agreement, conduct negotiations with the party, then terminate negotiations with the party professing a lack of interest in the party’s technology, followed by the unlawful use of the party’s trade secrets in its business,” the filing claimed.
In his interview, Buether elaborated, explaining that, “The person with that NDA feels comfortable in revealing the details of the technology which is proprietary because they see a huge opportunity with a company like Google.”
“It’s even worse than just using the proprietary information — they actually then claim ownership through patent applications,” the lawyer declared.
Following reports that over 60 women were considering sexism lawsuits against Google in August, the company faced a lawsuit from three female ex-employees last month, who claimed women had been paid less than men.
In September, free speech social network Gab also filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google after they were banned from the Google Play Store.