A U.K. engineering company has sued Facebook, claiming that the social network uses its proprietary data center designs and promotes their public use through its Open Compute Project.
BladeRoom Group asserted that trade secrets and intellectual property have been struck by the social network giants in order to install pre-fabricated, modular warehouses of servers.
BladeRoom has affirmed that Facebook passes its ideas to the FB-led OpenCompute Project, an initiative that “gives the public ‘full access to the specifications’ used by Facebook in its data centers”, according to the court claim.
Facebook has been very plain-spoken concerning the data center design and construction methodology it called “Rapid Deployment Data Center.” According to their scheme, a massive data center could be established anywhere in the world if all of its key components were pre-fabricated at a factory and shipped to the site for quick assembly.
Marco Magarelli, the Facebook design engineer, has specified the approach in a blog post on the Open Compute Project’s website.
BladeRoom stated that in January 2014, the OpenCompute Project (OCP) has inaugurated BladeRoom’s IP as its own by modifying it as “rapid deployment datacenter”. The British firm professes Facebook had also assigned a contract to Emerson Network Power, in order to design a pre-fabricated, modular data centre, based on its ideas, in May 2014. Emerson Network Power was one of the crucial suppliers of modules for the Luleå facility.
BladeRoom claims in its lawsuit that it had approached Facebook’s infrastructure team in the matter of using its data center design concept in 2011. The U.K. company’s representatives said they may have remained silent about “Facebook’s misdeeds,” had it not started “to encourage and induce others to use BRG’s intellectual property through an initiative created by Facebook called the ‘Open Compute Project’.”
Facebook has been accused for the second time for distorting other people’s data centre patents. Yahoo! also claimed in 2012 that Facebook had flouted up to 16 patents covering advertising, privacy, site customization, social networking and integrated communications in social networking.