A UK startup backed by Google has been accused of stealing code from a competitor

Yieldify founder Jay, left, and Meelan Radia.YieldifyYieldify founders Jay, left, and Meelan Radia.

Google-backed London startup Yieldify is being accused of stealing a competitor’s code, according to a lawsuit first reported on by Murad Ahmed at The Financial Times.

Yieldify, founded four years ago, builds e-commerce software that helps online retailers convince people to buy products online. In June 2015, it received $11.5 million (£8 million) in venture capital investment, with the round led by Google Ventures and Softbank. 

But US competitor Bounce Exchange alleges that Yieldify copied some of its code.

In the suit, Bounce Exchange alleges that Yieldify employees arranged for Bounce to demonstrate its software for them “under false pretences,” after which “Yieldify copied Bounce Exchange’s business model, aspects of its marketing material, and the Bounce Exchange Software, and proceeded to run its business in direct competition with Bounce Exchange.”

The New York court filings show multiple examples of what Bounce Exchange alleges is stolen code. In one instance, the document alleges that Yieldify simply switched out names — swapping “Bounce” with “Yieldify.”

Here’s an example:

Here’s another example. Bounce alleges that Yieldify copied an “inactivity” feature that shows a user a promotion after a period of inactivity, implementing a similar feature with similar code.

Yieldify “copied hundreds of lines of code and generally replicated the overall structure, sequence, and organisation of the Bounce Exchange Software,” according to the lawsuit.

Yieldify and Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comments.

However, Yieldify CEO Jay Radio told The Financial Times: “We strongly believe that the case has no merit and we’re defending it vigorously.”

The company has now filed a counterclaim for damages after it said that Bounce contacted its customers regarding the legal action, which caused some of them to withdraw their business, according to the FT.

Here’s one of the court documents alleging that Yieldify stole code from Bounce:

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