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June 29, 2012

Murder for Hire: The Latest Trend among Tech Companies

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

Some people inappropriately chalk this trend up to “If you can’t beat them join them,” however, this method of acquiring a start up only for them to shut its doors is more like murder for hire. The employees could benefit from the stability offered by a larger corporation, but they must concede to the death of their brand. The payoffs are usually hefty, but the result is furthering an anti-competitive market. Maybe. But there is a more significant feature about this trend – hiring the staff as opposed to buying the technology.


Remember the Google vs. Oracle case back in May? Oracle claimed that Google (News - Alert) infringed on their copyrights of Java Script while designing their Android platform. Oracle lost, and it was speculated that although Oracle purchased the technology in 2010, perhaps Google’s developers were among the people working for Sun. If this is true, then it proves that employees provide a loophole in patent disputes and copyright laws.

However, Google recently bought KikScore’s technology, but did not hire its staff. KikScore later closed its doors. According to Business Insider, customers were encouraged to buy Google’s more trusted product. If karma completes its cycle, Google could be unsuccessful at winning future lawsuits over KikScore’s patents, if KikScore’s original team of competitors works for the competition’s company.

Facebook (News - Alert) is a nefarious murder-for-hire company. Earlier this month, Pieceable died after Facebook hired its team. Before this, Facebook hired Lightbox, who then announced they would cease their services with Android users. And one can only guess the real story behind Facebook’s launching of the Instagram Twin (News - Alert). Perhaps Instagram managed to save itself by supplying Facebook with their camera app innovations, but the tale of KikScore suggests that this could have been a deal with the devil.

Recently, Saleforce hired the Thinkfuse team. Shortly thereafter, there was no more Thinkfuse. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.

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Edited by Rich Steeves



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