Software // Enterprise Applications
News
2/15/2008
07:37 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Contract Worker Sues Google Over Google Sky

Hired through WorkforceLogic USA, he claims to have come up with the idea and presented it on an internal Google Groups e-mail discussion group.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Atlanta's Northern District Court of Georgia, a former Google contract worker claims that Google stole his idea for Google Sky.

Google Sky is a feature that was added to the Google Earth application last August that lets users navigate through stars and galaxies.

Plaintiff Jonathan Cobb claims that starting in 2006, as a contractor hired through WorkforceLogic USA, he convened an internal Google Groups e-mail discussion group wherein he "presented, advanced, and refined the Google Sky concept and idea."

The discussion group, Cobb claims, included Google managers involved in Google Earth and related programs.

"Defendant Google took the concepts and ideas originally presented by Plaintiff and, without any notice or credit being extended to Plaintiff, used them as its own," the complaint states. "...Such actions represent a violation of Defendant Google's publicized corporate motto 'Do No Evil.'"

Cobb claims that Google took his idea "despite the fact that [he], when making application for contractor work with Defendant WorkforceLogic USA, made disclosure of his previously developed Sky idea and concept."

Through the e-mail discussion group, Cobb claims he proposed: "(a) An interface similar to that of Google Earth with upgrades, including the presentation of a Day and Night view and related space imagery; (b) An interface with differing telescope control systems; (c) Access to and the ability to use GPS devices for positioning information; (d) Object tracking; (e) Forecasting; (f) The ability to subscribe to high resolution imagery from earth and space-based telescopes; (g) Live image overlay and recording ability; and (h) Optical modulation measurement."

Cobb is seeking $25 million in damages; WorkforceLogic is also named as a defendant.

Neither Google nor WorkforceLogic immediately responded to requests for comment.

Attorneys for Cobb were also not available.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.