Motorola sues China’s Huawei for trade secret theft
Posted by Author on July 22, 2010
By Phil Wahba and Melanie Lee, NEW YORK/SHANGHAI, Reuters,Thu Jul 22, 2010 –
NEW YORK/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. mobile phone maker Motorola Inc (MOT.N) has sued China’s Huawei Technologies Co HWT.UL for alleged theft of trade secrets, highlighting the fast-growing Chinese firm’s difficulty in shaking the nation’s reputation for piracy.
In an initial suit, filed in 2008, Motorola sued five of its former workers for allegedly sharing trade secrets with Lemko, which was also named in the suit and has a reseller agreement with Huawei.
In the amended complaint, filed on July 16 in a federal court in Chicago, Motorola claimed an engineer shared information about a Motorola transceiver and other technology with Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Motorola claimed a string of emails tagged “Motorola Confidential Proprietary” showed that “Huawei and its officers knew they were receiving stolen Motorola proprietary trade secrets and confidential information without Motorola’s authorization and consent,” according to the suit.
Huawei said the lawsuit was groundless.
“Huawei has no relationship with Lemko, other than a reseller agreement. Huawei will vigorously defend itself against baseless allegations,” the company said in an emailed statement.
Cases like these are hard to prove from an evidence point of view, said Connie Carnabuci, a technology, intellectual property expert and partner at Freshfields in Hong Kong.
“Cases involving misappropriation of proprietary information are usually very difficult cases to run,” Carnabuci said.
“This case is being brought in the courts of the United States, one thing interesting is that decisions of the U.S. courts are not enforceable in China,” she added.
Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola accused Huawei of various violations including threatened or actual misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of corporate opportunity…..(more details from Reuters)
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