Huawei sues Motorola over intellectual property

The Chinese company seeks to stop the sale of a Motorola division to rival Nokia Siemens

Chinese telecommunications technology vendor Huawei Technologies has filed a lawsuit against Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions, accusing the companies of planning to give Huawei's intellectual property to Nokia Siemens Networks.

Huawei is seeking to stop the two Motorola companies, which split earlier this month, from transferring its trade secrets and technology covered by copyright to Nokia Siemens. In July, Motorola announced a $1.2 billion deal for Nokia Siemens to buy its telecom network equipment business.

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Huawei also named Nokia Siemens as a defendant in the lawsuit. Huawei has asked the court to halt the deal between Motorola and Nokia Siemens until Huawei and Motorola can sort their intellectual property.

Huawei, in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, said it has provided Motorola mobile and core network communications technologies for more than a decade. In some cases, Motorola purchased Huawei mobile products and "sold them under its own brand, instead of developing its own," the complaint said. "Thousands of Huawei engineers have worked on developing the confidential information that Huawei provided to Motorola."

Motorola also resold "hundreds of millions of dollars" worth of Huawei equipment, the complaint said.

Motorola asked in September to transfer 13 agreements between itself and Huawei to Nokia Siemens (NSN), a direct competitor to Huawei, the complaint said. Huawei, in the long-term agreements with Motorola, disclosed confidential information about future products, configuration tools, product performance, and testing, the lawsuit said.

The deal "will result in the massive disclosure of Huawei's confidential information to NSN, with irreparable harm to Huawei," the complaint said. "A large number of Motorola employees, many carrying direct knowledge of Huawei's confidential information, would become employees of NSN."

Representatives of Motorola Solutions and Nokia Siemens didn't immediate respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit. A representative of Motorola Mobility referred questions to Motorola Solutions.

Motorola filed a lawsuit against Huawei last July, accusing the Chinese company of conspiring with former Motorola employees to steal trade secrets.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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