Did Anyone Really Think Google Wouldn't Build An Outlook-To-Gmail Migration Tool?

from the deep-sea-fishing dept

As Google’s Gmail product has grown, it should come as absolutely no surprise that the company would offer up a tool to migrate users of Microsoft Outlook/Exchange over to Gmail. However, it appears to have come as a surprise to a small startup that offered similar tools in partnership with Google. That company has now sued Google claiming trade secrets were taken. From the details in the article, it appears that Google partnered with this small company that had developed such software as a rapid way of offering such functionality. Then, while all that was happening, it was developing its own such tools. This shouldn’t be a surprise — since migrating people over from Microsoft’s email solutions is clearly a priority for Google, and it’s no surprise that Google would want to have control over that technology.

Yet this startup seems to believe that a simple partnership with Google means that it was guaranteed to always remain Google’s partner and that Google would never build similar functionality in-house. If anything, this seems like sour grapes from a company that perhaps didn’t put together a very good contract with Google and didn’t recognize the obvious path for Google’s own development efforts. Not surprisingly, perhaps, this lawsuit is being prosecuted by the same lawyer who recently was on the losing end of a different lawsuit against Google (the infamous “American Blinds” case, accusing Google of trademark infringement because competitors could buy ads on American Blinds’ trademarks).

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Did Anyone Really Think Google Wouldn't Build An Outlook-To-Gmail Migration Tool?”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: more double standards

This is exactly what Microsoft has done in the past, yet they get panned while Google is portrayed as a victim? Give me a break.

Can you point to an example of me trashing Microsoft for doing the same thing? I’m sure *some* people have said nasty things about Microsoft for doing exactly this, but I don’t see what’s so wrong here.

impartial observer says:

Re: Re: more double standards

I would have to say the tone of the article is definately slanted in Google’s favor; almost as if someone from Google wrote it. To be fair this could in fact go either way. In order to arrive at an accurate speculation one would have to know the terms of the partnership agreement between Google and the startup company; kind of the purpose behind the whole trial thing don’t you think?

nonuser says:

Re: more double standards

1998: Don’t be evil

2008: Don’t be evil unless it’s really necessary to get us where we need to be, show Wall Street that we’re serious about meeting our financial targets, and enable us to deliver huge value to our customers in the process. Also remember that some animals (companies) are more equal than others.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: more double standards

How is this a double standard, and how is this being evil? Making smart business decisions is not being evil, and going ahead with obvious ideas is not being evil. Stop QQing and stop thinking that the only good in life comes from unsuccessful idiotic indy startups.

PixelPusher says:

Re: Re: Re: more double standards

If you contract with a company to use their software as part of your suite of apps, repeatedly tell them we won’t develop competing software, ask and get detailed technical information about said product and then later develop your own home grown app that walks, talks, and quacks like the previous app; yes that’s evil.

The ‘because we can’ is an allowable defense of actions, but it is not a defense when you claim to ‘not be evil’.

caveat: the above information is from the suing parties lawyers and may not represent the reality, but if it does, Google stepped in it big time.

Freedom says:

Re: Re:

Haven’t you seen the new Google Plan for the gas crisis?

Yep, they are going to start putting advertising in your car while you drive. Go to grocery store, get ads for products on the way. Going out for the night? Boy those ads will be fun!

They are sharing the profits with the gas and auto companies so very soon, it will be FREE to drive, just like it is to search the Internet. Awesome!


Anonymous Coward says:

If Google used trade secrets which were revealed to it solely because of its partnership with the other company, then yes, Google deserves to lose. You always point out that these kinds of suits from a company which developed an idea but couldn’t bring it to market. Here, they DID bring it to market, and were successful with it.
Google should have bought the rights to the software.

doubledoh says:

are you people stupid?

I’m amazed at how silly most of the above comments are! Even insinuating that a migration tool is somehow 1)unique and 2)non-obvious is crazy! Ever since email programs have existed, there have been ways to export/import data from various formats into or out of whatever email client you’re using. Is it so difficult to imagine that gmail would also support this completely archaic and obvious feature without the help of some small company?

I remember regularly backing up my outlook .pst files back in the late 90’s and later importing everything into newer computers (back when I thought outlook was relevant). This is NOT a new feature and no matter how much you commies love the David vs Goliath analogies, google was simply adding features that have always existed to their FREE service for the benefit of their users. They’ve been adding obvious and non-unique features to gmail for years…after they make them work way better than previous iterations as seen in other companies inferior products.

As a matter of fact, I wish Google would hurry the hell up and “steal” more features from tiny companies…maybe something crazy like a “task list”. Now that would be something fresh!

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