Google Inc. was sued on Monday by the internet communication giant VoIP in New York Supreme Court, being accused of stealing trade secrets related to online voice technology. A contract made in September 2005 is the basis of the litigation, according to which VoiceOne Communications Corp, the Los Angeles based subsidiary of VoIP, had an agreement with Google, providing them with a patented technology named “Click to Call” which makes it possible for internet users to call merchants or advertisers on clicking on a website link. The idea behind the creation of the technology was to promote the value of online advertisements by providing the customers with a free and direct telephone contact to the advertisers through their computers. At the moment VoIP is also facing bankruptcy proceedings.
The complaint states that according to the agreement, VoiceOne was the firm responsible for providing a carrier to phone calls which came from Google websites. The contract was terminated by Google in 2007, after it claimed that a nondisclosure agreement had been violated by VoiceOne after it revealed Google as its client.
In 2006 Google entered a joint venture related to Internet call services with Skype and eBay. The arguments from VoiceOne claim that the termination of its contract was just an excuse for Google to be able to exploit the confidential information that it had gained from VoiceOne, including its source codes, algorithms and methodologies to monetize phone calls made over the internet in the deal it had with Skype and eBay. Aaron Zamost, spokesman from Google, wasn’t present for comment in the aftermath of this accusation. The claims made by the lawsuit include unjust enrichment, unfair competition and breach of contract and it now seeks various related damages whose values haven’t been specified yet.