Google’s Project Loon wants to deliver internet across the world by employing balloons flying high in the atmosphere. It’s such a crazy idea that it might just work. It’s also such a crazy idea that it might not even be Google’s. At least according to a company that’s suing them over stolen intellectual property.
Space Data Corporation (SDC) is suing the giant search engine company, claiming that the idea and technology employed by Alphabet/Google’s Project Loon rightfully belongs to them. This isn’t just some patent troll trying to make a quick buck either, because according to the judicial complaint, Google and its founders had direct access to Space Data Corporation’s technology.
This access came about back in 2007, when Google was on the verge of buying Space Data Corporation, and, when under an NDA, Larry Page and Sergey Brin saw how the company’s weather balloons could deliver internet. Space Data Corporation says it even has pictures of Google’s founders looking at one of its prototypes.
The deal between the two companies fell through, but since then Google has tried to push the concept of internet-delivering balloons. SDC claims Google has been relying on its technology, which it stole, and has continuously been infringing upon its patents.
Whether there’s any truth to the accusations remains to be decided by the courts, though case like this oftentimes takes years to be settled. So don’t expect any immediate results.