Facebook is being sued by BladeRoom Group (BRG) which that claims the social network stole its technique for building data centres and, perhaps worse, is encouraging others to do the same through the Open Compute Project.
BladeRoom came up with an idea to construct data centres in a modular fashion from pre-fabricated parts. It’s intended to be a faster, more energy-efficient method.
However Facebook used the idea to build part of a data centre in Lulea, Sweden, that opened last year.
“Facebook’s misdeeds might never have come to light had it decided that simply stealing BRG’s intellectual property was enough,” the company said in its lawsuit, filed last Monday at the federal district court in California.
“Instead, Facebook went further when it decided to encourage and induce others to use BRG’s intellectual property though an initiative created by Facebook called the ‘Open Compute Project’.”
BRG is suing Facebook for theft of trade secrets and breach of contract, among other things, and asks for a jury trial. It’s seeking unspecified financial damages and an injunction to stop anyone using its technique.
The British outfit said Facebook should have to pay for “all profits, cost savings, and reputational enhancement” it gained from its alleged use of BRG’s designs. The suit was jointly filed by BRG and Bripco, both based in Cheltenham, England.