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Architect Eli Attia Accuses Google Inc (GOOGL) Of Stealing His Idea Which Could Have Changed The Construction Industry

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is facing a lawsuit from Eli Attia alleging that the internet giant stole the famous architect’s life’s work, a report from The Verge explores in-depth.

According to the publication, audio streaming company Max Sound has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Attia who’s famous for his involvement in the building of the Crystal Cathedral in California and 101 Park Avenue in New York alleging that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is illegally profiting from Attia’s work.

Attia is said to have conceived a process he calls Engineered Architecture that, in its essence, streamlines the design and construction of buildings. The architect worked on translating his system into software when he worked with the internet juggernaut under its Google X arm, The Verge says.

The architect describes his system as having a set of about 100 modular design blocks which can be combined into “any and every conceivable form” for structures, the publication notes.

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Unfortunately, just a year after working with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) on Engineered Architecture, which Google X dubbed “Genie” under its wing, Attia was informed that the project is moving forward without him. The project has become an independent business called Flux Factory which launched Flux Metro, its first product which is an urban planning tool, in October last year.

It’s noteworthy to note that according to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) employment documents for the architect, he was just a consultant on Genie. The Google X project also had another architect on board from the start, The Verge says.

“Attia may have been crucial to the initial vision — or, more likely, crucial to convincing Google brass to fund the project — but the final product seems to have expanded beyond the work of designing buildings. Like any speculative startup project, Genie had to be more agile than that, grasping for a way to translate good tools and a disruptable industry into a workable business model,” The Verge writes.

Nonetheless, Attia is adamant that the internet giant stole his idea.

“When I asked what elements of Engineered Architecture he saw in Flux, Attia’s reply (through his counsel) was simple: ‘Everything. Nothing was left behind. Nothing was added. Nothing was changed. Every specific aspect of Engineered Architecture is included in the Google/Flux presentations,’” the site’s Russell Brandon writes.

The legal fight is interesting in that it will reveal how the technology giant and its skunkworks shops treat intellectual property. Attia through Max Sound has named the company’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as defendants in his suit.

Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global owned 923,500 Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) shares by the end of September.

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