Google+ Product Steps on Startup’s Toes

The Huddle muddle

One of the features that made Google+ different from Facebook, "Huddle", is now in hot water. A London-based startup by the same name that offers cloud-based communication is not happy in the least about Google’s latest innovation. But it's not the first time the company has had to deal with brand name confusion.

A few years ago, Google created a collaboration tool called Huddlechat. Similar to the work that the London-based startup Huddle does, the app was based on cloud communication. In that instance, it didn’t take long before Huddlechat was shelved, seriously battered by criticism that the product was eerily similar to Campfire, a product by 37Signals and Huddle’s services.

This time, however, Google might not give up so easily. GigaOm points out that whereas Huddlechat was a relatively small endeavor for Google, the Huddle feature is much more of a visible and important component to the larger Google+ product. Unless the London-based Huddle can build some sort of compelling legal case against Google, it is doubtful the feature will be taken down or changed.

In response to much ado in the Twittersphere, Huddle released a statement via the company blog. "The Huddle team has worked hard to build its brand visibility worldwide and maintaining this is extremely important," Huddle said. "We have contacted Google about this matter, and our hope and preference, of course, is that this issue reaches a timely and amicable resolution."