Alphabet is being sued by a wireless services company that claims that Google stole the idea behind Project Loon.
(CCM) — Alphabet, Google's parent company, is on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by wireless company Space Data, who claims that the tech giant's Project Loon is the result of stolen ideas. Project Loon, which is managed by X (formerly Google X) is an initiative to provide users in remote and rural areas with internet access by sending helium balloons where cellular towers do not reach. The Verge reports that the suit claims that Space Data's facilities were visited by about a dozen Google employees and executives in 2008 — four years after Space Data began providing commercial wireless services from altitude-controlled balloons and five years before Google began offering a similar service internationally via Project Loon. Space Data alleges that it was during this visit that Google's employees gathered confidential information and trade secrets that were then integrated into its own, similar service. Google has declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.
Earlier this year, Google was hit by Getty Images with a similar lawsuit that alleged that the tech giant's use of third-party images in its search feature facilitated "accidental piracy" on the part of its users. The suit also condemned how easy it is to download hi-definition photos for free using Google, ultimately hurting the livelihood of the artists who produce the work, namely Getty's own contributors.
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