It's about time our wallets and purses started to shrink a little bit and at the rate mobile payments are gaining popularity you think they would have disappeared by now. I first heard reports of industry giants like Google and PayPal approaching this with the use of NFC last October, so I am a bit surprised it took this long for a huge lawsuit to pop up. I am not surprised, however, that intense competition in the market has led to some alleged breach of contracts and employee poaching concerning two key employees who moved from PayPal to Google and took their secrets with them.
PayPal generally takes a stance of avoidance when it comes to lawsuits but the company said that, given the circumstances, you got to do what you got to do, it's the law. Amanda Pires, the senior director at PayPal for global communications said,
Sometimes the behaviors of people and competitors make legal action the only meaningful way for a company to protect one of its most valuable assets — its trade secrets. We treat PayPal's 'secrets' seriously, and take it personally when someone else doesn't.
Find out who did what and hit the break.
The someone they are referring to is actually two people, ex-senior executives Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius. After a news conference in New York on the 26th, it was quite obvious that Bedier is now in charge of Google Wallet and allegedly misappropriating PayPal trade secrets. It's common sense that giving away trade secrets is a no-no but Bedier's employment at Google means that he might have violated his employment contract by sleeping with the enemy.
Tilenius is in hot water for recruiting Bedier shortly after being made the head of Google Commerce and Payments Group, which PayPal claims would be a clear violation of an agreement she had with PayPal. In the lawsuit PayPal notes an interesting Facebook message from her to Bedier,
I heard from a little birdie that you might be open to bigger and better challenges, I have a HUGE opportunity for you, would love to chat if you are interested.
Google has responded to the lawsuit in typical Google fashion,
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.
That's all for now. Let the games begin!