In a fresh development in the Google-Groupon feud, Groupon has sued two of its ex-managers (that work for Google now) in an Illinois court on 24th October. The company has accused the former sales managers of doing the forbidden, that is taking trades secrets with them when they quit the company. These two managers- Michael Nolan and Brian Hanna work for Google now, since September 2011. Michael had worked with Groupon for two years while Brian since January of this year.
While Google has not been named in the suit, they have been mentioned as the new employers of the errant ex employees. As Groupon stated: "In their new positions with Google Offers and/or Google, Hanna and Nolan will provide the same or similar services as they provided at Groupon," requiring them "to employ confidential and proprietary information that they learned while employed at Groupon," according to the complaint.
Groupon has accused the ex-managers of breaking the ethics code of protecting essential and vital information like customer lists, sales, and marketing plans. The company wants the court to prohibit Michael and Brian from exploiting lists or information.
The Google-Groupon History:
In December last year, news broke out that Groupon rejected Google's acquistion offer of $6 billion, plus performance incentives. Despite the deal fall out, Google entered into the daily deals space. Groupon retaliated to this by hiring Margo Georgiadis as COO from Google.
Google Under Attack:
Google or Google employees have often faced many lawsuits. Companies like Paypal, Oracle and VoIP have sued their ex-employees now working for Google. In this latest Groupon case, speculations are rife, that this suit by Groupon may be an attempt to grab a spotlight for its IPO announcement.
What do you think of Groupon's move? Is this their way to get back at Google or just to hog the limelight, or maybe they really have lost their “trade secrets”