Photo: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital
After Google’s big mobile payments announcement yesterday, PayPal is suing Google and two former execs. PayPal alleges that the execs, Stephanie Tilenius and especially top exec Osama Bedier, whom Google poached from PayPal, took with them trade secrets that Google is using. Lawsuits happen in the tech world, but this one is a pretty big deal.
As Om Malik points out, Bedier was a star inside PayPal, and seen as the next leader of the division. His leaving for Google was a huge blow.
In particular, PayPal says that at the time Bedier was leading negotiations with Andy Rubin for PayPal to become the favoured payments platform on Android — a huge deal if it came to pass –, he was also interviewing at Google for a job. The lawsuit also claims that Bedier and Tilenius breached contractual agreements not to poach from PayPal after they were recruited at Google, hiring two other PayPalers.
As MG Siegler notes, it’s weird that, if all of this is true, PayPal waited until Google made its big Wallet announcement to sue. Typically when a big-hitter gets poached, the poached company sues immediately, especially if it alleges trade secrets, to prevent the poached person from starting to work at the new company. If Bedier took so many trade secrets with him to Google, why did PayPal wait months to sue?
In any case, this lawsuit is a big, developing story, and only shows how big the stakes are in mobile payments.
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