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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
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    18,423

    [EN] Did Facebook steal the design for its data center in Sweden?

    David Kravets
    2/16/2017

    Despite Facebook's best efforts to get a trade-secrets theft lawsuit tossed, a federal judge is ruling that the social media giant must defend allegations that the company stole the design of its touted data center in Luleå, Sweden.

    The suit was brought by British engineering firm BladeRoom Group (BRG), which in 2015 alleged "BRG spent years developing and refining the prefabricated, modular design and the transportation and construction techniques that Facebook blithely passed off to the world in 2014," the company said in its federal lawsuit. The company said that Facebook "simply stole the BRG Methodology and passed it off as its own." BladeRoom notes that Facebook shared some of the ideas for the Swedish data center on the Open Compute Project blog and did not "make any attempt to attribute or credit BRG for any of the elements of the innovative new approach" that Facebook "claimed" it had developed.

    BRG says it holds the intellectual property rights and trade secrets to what it termed are "mission-critical modular buildings with complex mechanical and electrical components." Those buildings, according to the company, include industrial kitchens, hospitals, theaters, clean rooms, and data centers.

    Facebook claimed that BRG didn't own the trade secrets that allegedly were used to build the Facebook data center in Sweden. US District Judge Edward Davila, however, balked at the assertion and said BRG has adequately stated a claim under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

    "... Plaintiffs have allegedly employed several mechanisms to limit the public disclosure of confidential information," the judge ruled. "Facebook’s challenge to BRG’s trade secret misappropriation claim based on lack of ownership is therefore rejected."

    BRG claims it was "essentially enticed" to meet with Facebook in 2012 about a data center deal under false pretenses. No deal occurred. Facebook, however, argued that BRG didn't go far enough in trying to keep its so-called BladeRoom technology a secret.

    "Thus, though Facebook’s argument regarding voluntary disclosure is certainly appealing and may ultimately prevail depending on what is revealed through an investigation of the facts, plaintiffs’ theory that its efforts at secrecy were reasonable under the circumstances is plausible enough to overcome a motion to dismiss," the judge ruled.

    The ruling means that there will be more discovery, or "an investigation of the facts," as the judge said, between the litigants to develop a larger record about the allegations. The lawsuit seeks damages for breach of contract, breach of faith, and misappropriation of trade secrets.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...ter-in-sweden/

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    18,423
    Facebook argues the SAC’s allegations show that Plaintiffs failed to undertake reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of the BladeRoom technology because they disclosed it to third-party architects and contractors at the meeting in Prineville, Oregon in May, 2012.

    ...

    Construing the SAC in Plaintiffs favor, they contend that Facebook essentially enticed BRG to disclose confidential information to Facebook and third parties in May, 2012, by misrepresenting the true purpose of the meeting. To that end, Plaintiffs allege that Facebook told BRG that it would be asked to submit a bid for an expansion of the Prineville data center, while in actuality Facebook had already agreed that its own contractors would submit a substantially lower bid for the same work.


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