Attorneys for VSL Communications, accusing Google Inc. of stealing and profiting from their client’s trade secrets for reducing the size of media files without loss of quality, say they now have proof.
According to a complaint filed Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Google used the stolen technology in streaming and downloading on YouTube, Google Play and Google Earth.
In 2010, Google purchased the New York-based On2 for just under $125 million, to utilize its compression technology. But the outcome was not nearly as good as VSL’s and, according to the complaint, “was in desperate need of improvement.”
According to the complaint, Google seduced VSL to present its proprietary technology, saying the Internet behemoth was looking at an acquisition.
VSL made Google sign a non-disclosure agreement, reports The Record, then handed Google three CDs with a working versions of its superior condense technology, as well as 400 files and photocopies of VSL trade secrets, and charts that compared the VSL technology with its competitors’.
They really wanted to be bought out.
“Little did VSL know that behind the scenes, Google had devised a scheme to steal the VSL trade secrets and incorporate them into Google’s own products without compensating VSL for their use, ” the complaint relates.
And so, after 8 months had gone by and Google wasn’t buying anything yet, VSL had had enough and asked for its technology back.
Google complied, reports The Recorder, but the files they returned to VSL were full of incriminating Post-its, where Google employees had apparently been writing notes on how to use this fantastic technology, and also notes on how to make believe the theft never happened.
The suit names YouTube and On2 Technologies, which Google acquired in 2010, as additional defendants, The Recorder reports.
And there’s a patent infringement suit against Google et al in Delaware federal court.
“This case is yet another of the many occasions on which Google has unlawfully taken, rather than developed for itself or paid for, valuable technology that is core to the functioning of its many businesses and products, ” VSL’s attorneys wrote.
“Defendants’ theft of VSL’s trade secrets pervades virtually every website and product offered by defendants, ” according to the complaint.
That could mean a whole lot of mullah. And not the virtual kind, but the good stuff, with the pictures of presidents.