PayPal Sues Google Over Mobile Payment Execs; Where's The Line Between Non-Competes & Trade Secrets

from the is-there-a-line? dept

On the day Google announced its big mobile payment system, PayPal announced that it's suing Google and two former PayPal execs who went to Google and were apparently heavily involved in this effort. The focus is apparently on Osama Bedier, who apparently had spent the last couple of years at PayPal trying to do a deal with Google to power Google's offering... before jumping ship to lead Google's own effort (which does not apparently use PayPal). Of course, as we've discussed many times, non-compete agreements are unenforceable in California, because California believes that you can't take away someone's right to work.

What this really does is highlight the fuzzy line between "right to work" concepts and trade secrets. That's because California does have strong trade secret protections. But if an employee has a right to work... how do you remove any "trade secrets" from their previous job from their brain? There are some details -- including accusations of transferring confidential documents to a computer right before making the job switch -- that certainly look bad. But, on the whole, I tend to think these kinds of lawsuits are a waste of time. Focus on actually competing in the market, rather than suing competitors. Frankly, the world needs more payment solutions, and if there's some competition, then it should force all players to improve their game.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    AW, May 27th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    If it legal to preside over the oversight on a merger then go work for the new company that came out of the merger, why wouldn't you expect this to be completely legit?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    TriZz (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 5:05pm

    Apparently

    ...you like the word apparently. 4 uses in the first paragraph, twice in 1 sentence. If it was so apparent, then why did you feel the need to keep reminding us of how apparent it is?

    Sorry. It was just hard to read because of that.

    As for the topic, it's tough to enforce something like this. Those two execs have experience with working on electronic payment systems and Google, offering their own service, would need employees with experience to help them get theirs off of the ground.

    I mean, isn't that what we all do? Take our work experience to the next job and use that knowledge to excel at the next place...?

    Now, if there were some proprietary PayPal tech going into the new Google system...I could see the problem, but if that's not the case then I don't see how PayPal has a chance here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, May 27th, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    Apparently

    "Apparently" is used when what might be facts are not confirmed. Sort of like "alleged" when someone is charged but not yet convicted. Apparently you didn't know that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    TriZz (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Apparently

    Yes, I know what apparently means. And yes...it can and has been overused in this instance.

    The focus IS on Osama Bieder (as well as a Stephanie something) and Google's payment offering does NOT use PayPal.

    It's common for writers to overuse the word "apparently" apparently to avoid committing to a statement of fact.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), May 28th, 2011 @ 12:33am

    Re: Re: Apparently

    indeed.
    apparantly it makes it harder to sue them for getting it wrong :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2011 @ 5:37am

    Removal of Trade Secrets

    But if an employee has a right to work... how do you remove any "trade secrets" from their previous job from their brain?

    A really big hammer,like they use in Looney Tunes. Or maybe there's a business opportunity for Lacuna, Inc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Shon Gale (profile), May 30th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    98% of the time Confidential Documents are simply your own notes. Stupid! Waster of Money. Sell your PayPal stock. They have idiots running the company.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    OldGeek, May 30th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Interesting

    What I find strange about all of this is Japan has been using this technology for several years now. I just wonder how much of this both company's stole from them!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    paypal fan, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    trade secrets...

    two things that hurt eBay/PayPal
    - breach of trust.
    * i don't go from one company, take their customer contacts and use them at different company [that's not experience]
    * thin line between using experience to excel and building competition for your previous employer
    - according to very lengthy lawsuit [i have to admit i only read the blog and first few lines of doc], he worked on partnership between PayPal & Google
    * he goes to Google, probably partnership is no longer talked between two companies, and viola, they make their own system

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Carlos King, Aug 24th, 2013 @ 6:02pm

    Tade Secrets

    two things that hurt eBay/PayPal
    - breach of trust.
    * i don't go from one company, take their customer contacts and use them at different company [that's not experience]
    * thin line between using experience to excel and building competition for your previous employer
    - according to very lengthy lawsuit [i have to admit i only read the blog and first few lines of doc], he worked on partnership between PayPal & Google
    * he goes to Google, probably partnership is no longer talked between two companies, and viola, they make their own system

    I definitely agree with this 100%

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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