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Lawsuit Alert: Did Google Pickpocket Wallet from PayPal?

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Not everyone’s a fan of Google Wallet. eBay and its online payment service PayPal are hitting the courts, accusing two Google execs of stealing confidential information about mobile payment technology. In the cross hairs are Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, current Google staffers who once worked for PayPal.

Bedier, who is now Google Wallet’s current project leader, was a PayPal employee who was stewarding a deal between the two companies while simultaneously interviewing for a job at Google. If the arrangement had gone through, PayPal could have been adopted as a payment service in the Android Market. But he jumped ship mid-deal, and this, says the spurned company, sabotaged the deal.

Once onboard, alleges the lawsuit, Bedier gave up PayPal secrets and technical information for use in Google Wallet — especially the virtual Google Prepaid Card that allows other credit cards to be linked up as funding sources (not unlike PayPal).

Bedier also supposedly compelled Tilenius to likewise ditch eBay for Google. Currently the search giant’s vice president of commerce, Tilenius was a former eBay exec who had segued her exit into a consulting contract. But she broke the contract a month early for the gig at Google last year.

What do you think? Would Google, the “do no evil” company, basically steal PayPal’s methodology (and staff) for its GWallet?

[via PC World]

 

UPDATE: Google has responded, saying, “We didn’t take corporate secrets specific to PayPal, just used general knowledge. And hey, people have a right to work wherever they want. So why are you harshing our buzz, PayPal?” Okay, that’s obviously paraphrased. What they actually said in an email to TechCrunch is: “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. We respect trade secrets, and will defend ourselves against these claims.” So yeah, basically the same thing. Hit the link to learn more.


Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...

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