Google, now Alphabet, is no stranger to working on projects which other companies might consider to be too far-fetched or fruitless to focus on. Although that has not stopped the company from proceeding with these less than orthodox projects. While some make it, some take considerable time in coming to fruition and some have extremely important implications, like for instance Project Loon. This is the company’s view of how they can connect the world further by making use of balloon technology to offer connectivity in remote parts of the world. An idea which not only could be game-changing in the grand scale of things, but one which is also quite likely to be fairly profitable as well.
However, it now seems as those one company is taking specific issue with Project Loon. The company is Space Data Corporation and their main issue is that they believe that Alphabet, albeit Google at the time, has effectively copied their idea. So much so that Space Data has now filed a complaint on the matter with the Northern California District Court against Google, Alphabet and X. The complaint focuses on two specific patent infringements that Space Data claims to have taken place. One revolves around the use of balloons as a route to providing connectivity, while the other focuses on “unmanned lighter-than-air safe termination and recovery methods.” Both patents do seem to be owned by Space Data and do seem to have been filed long before Project Loon came to be. Which is the basis of the Space Data’s complaint.
Interestingly, as The Verge reports, earlier reports dating as far back as 2008 do highlight that Google reps (including Sergey Brin and Larry Page) visited Space Data and were made privy to the balloon tech the company was (at the time) working on. The dates also do highlight that these meeting came before Project Loon came through. Which presumably Space Data is using as further evidence of Project Loon’s likeness to its own services, products and patented technology. At the moment, besides the actual filing of the complaint, there is little to further note on, although you can read the full details of the Space Data complaint by heading through the source link below.