Google’s worries just don’t seem to stop. There is the ever present headache, Apple which is already trying to ban the Galaxy Nexus and a whole lot of other Android devices all over the world, then we read that Nokia is ticked off because the Asus built, Google Nexus 7 tablet infringed upon one of it’s WiFi patents and now a startup by the name of CamUp thinks Google stole it’s idea by adding a feature to Google+ Hangouts.
So, first some info about what kind of a company CamUp is. CamUp is a startup which lets users to video conference with each other or in groups. Virtual chats groups are created inside which friends can share any kind of media including videos and photos etc., in real time.
CamUp was started at last year’s SXSW which was held in March. According to CamUp, Google VP Marissa Mayer and some other Google engineers visited CamUp’s booth. After Google expressed it’s interest in CamUp, both parties met in London. During this meeting CamUp showcased it’s technology of sharing videos in real time with friends while chatting with them. It also proposed that a “Watch with your friends” button be integrated to YouTube videos, pressing which would start a CamUp session. CamUp says, Google’s UK division having liked this proposal, requested for CamUp’s marketing strategy and promised that it would stay in touch to further talks. But when CamUp tried to contact Google later, it never received any response. After this episode, the company says, it received unusually high traffic, all of which were from Mountain View, California, where Google’s headquarters is located. CamUp attributes this high traffic, each session lasting up to 40 minutes, to Google employees studying and analysing their products.
CamUp’s allegation is that, Google+ Hangout, which Google started in June 2011, used their ideas and plans, which was explained to Google during the London meeting. To be specific, the Hangouts feature which integrates YouTube which initially used a “Watch with your friends” button, a direct rip off of “Watch with your friends on CamUp”, to start the YouTube session, but was later changed to a button with a Hangouts logo with the “Watch with your friends” appearing with a mouseover. CamUp also alleges that even design features of CamUp were over to Hangouts.
The lawsuit, which was filed on June 28th seeks to get an injunction against Hangouts on the grounds of “misappropriation of trade secrets, civil conspiracy, copyright infringement, and trade dress infringement. “