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.