Google may be one of the biggest brands in the world, but this has not stopped buySAFE from suing the search engine giant for a patent violation.
buySAFE is a company that offers safe shopping services to online stores and their customers. The company claims that Google has infringed on their patient by preparing to release a similar product known as Google Trusted Stores. Along with this, buySAFE states that Google has sneakily attempted to obtain proprietary business information.
According to buySAFE, they are the “first company to address the concerns of online shoppers by providing third-party certification and transactional guarantees for Internet retailers.”
But hold on, it gets better.
Tom Fallows has played a large role in building the Google Trusted Stores service. He is a Group Product Manager on Google’s Commerce team. No big deal, right? Wrong. Fallows formerly worked for a customer of buySAFE, during which time he learned quite a bit about the internal operations of the buySAFE service.
In 2010, Google recruited Fallows to the company – many believe this was due to the internal information he had gathered on the inner workings of buySAFE’s business model.
buySAFE claims that Google has sought the possibility of a joint-venture for several years. However, were they really interested in this? The lawsuit claims:
“Google exploited those discussions to learn about buySAFE’s business. Although buySAFE ultimately broke off discussions with Google, Google’s interest in buySAFE’s business continued.”
There is one final point that should not be overlooked. buySAFE is accusing Google of offering higher results in search engines to companies using the Trusted Stores program. They also claim that one customer was told that they were not permitted to participate in both the buySAFE and Trusted Stores programs.
What are your thoughts on this lawsuit? Does buySAFE have a case? Or will Google once again prevail?