Motorola Accuses Competitor of Stealing Trade Secrets

CHICAGO (CN) – Motorola claims in court that a Chinese corporation stole over 7,000 technical documents to illegally speed up its development of digital two-way radios.

According to two lawsuits filed Tuesday in Chicago federal court, Hytera Communications “lured away several Motorola senior radio engineers … [who] were privy to proprietary technical documents and design ideas” to develop radios that infringe on several of Motorola’s patents.

The Chicago-based company says “just weeks before they left Motorola, the engineers downloaded and misappropriated more than 7,000 technical, marketing, sales, and legal documents related to Motorola’s digital radio and infrastructure products.”

The engineers are named in the complaints, but are not listed as defendants.

Despite knowing many of the technologies were patented, Motorola claims “Hytera simply copied and used these critical technologies in its own competing products – products that bear the hallmarks of Motorola’s innovation and product development.”

Motorola says the Chinese firm also copied its marketing materials, as “Hytera’s product manuals on these technologies are replete with images, graphs, and text that are nearly identical to the previously published product manuals of Motorola.”

The American tech giant alleges it has spent over $3.5 billion in research and development in just the last five years, and that “by extensively using Motorola’s patented technologies, Hytera avoided the investments and costs that would have been necessary to develop competing technologies on its own.”

“In an unlawful attempt to overcome its late entry to the market, Hytera recruited senior Motorola engineers to initiate and boots its digital two-way radio product line,” one complaint states.

Motorola seeks a declaratory judgment that Hytera’s competing products infringe on several of its patents, as well as punitive damages for misappropriation of trade secrets.

Hytera Communications Corporation Ltd., Hytera America Inc., and Hytera Communications America (West) Inc. are listed as defendants in both lawsuits.

Motorola Solutions Inc. is represented by Brandon Brown of Kirkland and Ellis LLP in San Francisco.

Hytera did not immediately respond Wednesday to an emailed request for comment.