Last week in Atlanta, Georgia, contract worker Jonathan Cobb filed a lawsuit, claiming that Google stole his idea for Google Sky. He is seeking $25 million in damages. While high-profile, multi-billion dollar companies tend to attract frivolous lawsuits, what’s interesting about this case is the fact that Cobb actually worked at Google as a contractor beginning in 2006.
In the lawsuit, Cobb claims that he discussed the idea for Google Sky in an internal e-mail discussion group while he was a contractor for Google. According to Cobb, the discussion group also included managers involved in Google Earth and similar programs.
Cobb’s filing alleges:
“Defendant Google took the concepts and ideas originally presented by Plaintiff and, without any notice or credit being extended to Plaintiff, used them as its own,” the complaint states. “…Such actions represent a violation of Defendant Google’s publicised corporate motto ‘Do No Evil.'”
Google Sky was added to Google Earth in August 2007, and allows users to to switch their view of the Earth to the stars and galaxies that surround it.