Did Facebook steal the design for its data center in Sweden?

Lawsuit claims Facebook “simply stole” the design “and passed it off as its own.”

Despite Facebook’s best efforts to get a trade-secrets theft lawsuit tossed, a federal judge is ruling that the social media giant must defend allegations that the company stole the design of its touted data center in Luleå, Sweden.

The suit was brought by British engineering firm BladeRoom Group (BRG), which in 2015 alleged “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,” the company said in its federal lawsuit. The company said that Facebook “simply stolethe BRG Methodology and passed it off as its own.” BladeRoom notes that Facebook sharedsome of the ideas for the Swedish data center on the Open Compute Project blog and did not “make any attempt to attribute or credit BRG for any of the elements of the innovative new approach” that Facebook “claimed” it had developed.

BRG says it holds the intellectual property rights and trade secrets to what it termed are “mission-critical modular buildings with complex mechanical and electrical components.”


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