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Google+ Hangouts a stolen product, new lawsuit alleges

July 3, 2012

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Google is being sued by a third-party that’s either alleging a Google product is infringing on existing technology, or that the Search giant is infringing the users’ privacy with one of its online resources.

This time around we’re looking at a trial that targets Google’s Google+ Hangouts and its YouTube video sharing features, which are apparently stolen products, if CamUp is to be believed.

The startup has been approached by Google at last year’s SXSW Festival in Texas, where execs including VP Marissa Mayer were interested in CamUp’s video sharing technology. The companies then met up in London, in order to find ways to integrate a “Watch with your friends on CamUp” button in YouTube, but Google never returned CamUp’s calls thereafter, despite being interested in the technology.

Moreover, the startup says that it noticed an impressive spike in traffic in May 2011 from Mountain View – Google’s headquarters – as Google engineers were exploring the product. Then, the following month Google launched Google+ with Hangouts, a social video watching feature that lets users enjoy videos with friends via a “Watch with friends” button.

CamUp is asking damages from Google, and an injunction that would ban Hangouts on YouTube and Google+. We’ll be back with more details once we know more ourselves. In the mean time it’s worth pointing out that Google said it hasn’t seen the lawsuit yet, and it’s not ready to make any comments on the matter at this time.

Are you a hardcore Hangouts user by any chance? How do you feel about this Google+ features?