New York Startup CamUp Sues Google For Allegedly Ripping Off Hangouts

marissa mayer

Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Be In, a startup behind video chat site CamUp, is suing Google for allegedly ripping off its product in Google Hangouts.

Here’s what it’s alleging:

  • Marissa Mayer and some Google engineers visited Be In’s booth at SXSW in March 2011. Shortly after, Be In met with Google’s Head of Business Markets (UK), Richard Robinson.
  • Robinson met with Be In on May 11, 2011 to discuss a potential partnership. Be In gave him a live demo of CamUp. Be In and Google Ireland had a non-disclosure agreement prior to the meeting.
  • The companies discussed a “Watch with your Friends” button on YouTube powered by Be In. Google didn’t mention the development of a similar product internally.
  • At the meeting, Robinson was “extremely enthusiastic” about CamUp. He said he’d put CamUp in touch with YouTube.
  • Robinson neglected to respond to Be In’s follow up messages, but Be In noted “A dramatic spike in user traffic to the CamUp site, in particular from Mountain View, California,” shortly after the meeting.
  • One month later, Google released Google+ with Hangouts. It also embedded a “Watch with your friends” Hangout button on YouTube pages, “virtually identical in text and appearance to the CamUp bottom that Be In proposed.”

We’ve reached out to Google for comment.

Here’s the filing (via Scribd):

CamUP v Google

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