Google Accused Of Stealing Idea For Project Loon From Space Data Corp
Google was accused by Space Data Corp for stealing the idea behind Project Loon, during a meeting in 2007. Space Data Corp is a company that uses balloon technology to provide wireless service to oil companies. According to the lawsuit filed by Space Data Corp, Google has infringed two patents which predate Project Loon.
As it turns out, Google has showed interest in 2007 to acquire the company. Both companies executives have also met, supposedly shared trade secrets, and signed a non-disclosure agreement. However, after another meeting with the executives involving demonstrations, pictures and ideas, Google pulled itself out of the deal.
Shortly after breaking the talks, Google started Project Loon in early 2008. According to Space Data, Google stole their ideas and implemented them in their project.
Space Data currently offers two products, the SkySat and SkySite. Both of products uses balloon-based connectivity in a similar way to Project Loon.
While Space Data’s technology may not be as popular as Google’s, the company is using balloons to provide wireless service longer than Google. In addition, it holds FCC licenses to provide wireless access in places like Alaska.