SAN JOSE (CN) - British engineering company BladeRoom Group claims in court that Facebook ripped off its revolutionary data center design and encourages others to do the same.
"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," BladeRoom says in its March 23 federal complaint.
It cites a January 2014 announcement from Facebook, stating that it had developed a revolutionary way of constructing the climate-controlled buildings that house computer servers.
BladeRoom Group claims it contacted Facebook in 2011 to promote its technique of building modular-style data centers called "Blade Rooms" using prefabricated parts. It claims that Facebook then hired a company called Emerson Network Power to take the technique and use it in a data center it built in Lulea, Sweden.
"Facebook's misdeeds might never have come to light had it decided that simply stealing BRG's intellectual property was enough. 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,'" the claims.
BladeRoom's heavily redacted complaint, filed jointly with Bripco, quotes Facebook's promotional blog posts to back up its claim of theft of trade secrets.
BRG and Bripco seek damages for breach of contract, breach of faith, misappropriation of trade secrets, unjust enrichment and unfair competition, and an injunction prohibiting Facebook from disclosing those secrets.
It is represented by Stephanie Skaff, with Farella, Braun and Martell in San Francisco.