Huawei sues Motorola over IP transfer to NSN

January 24, 2011
Convention attendees pass by the Motorola booth at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 7. Motorola Mobility's Xoom tablet computer powered by new "Honeycomb" software from Google was crowned the best gadget at the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Saturday.

China's Huawei Technologies Co. sued Motorola on Monday to prevent confidential Huawei intellectual property information from being allegedly transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks.

Motorola last year agreed to sell its wireless network business to NSN, a joint venture between Finland's Nokia and Germany's Siemens, for 1.2 billion dollars.

Huawei asked a US District Court in Illinois, where Motorola has its headquarters, to block the transfer of Huawei-developed wireless and core network communications technology to NSN.

The Huawei lawsuit for "misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement, and breach of contract" named Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions and NSN as defendants.

Motorola split into two companies -- Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions -- on January 4.

"Since 2000, Huawei and Motorola have had a cooperative relationship in the radio access network and core network businesses, where Motorola has resold Huawei wireless network products to customers under the Motorola name," Huawei said.

"During this period, Motorola was provided with products and confidential Huawei IP developed by Huawei's team of more than 10,000 engineers," it said.

"Since the July 2010 announcement by NSN of its purchase of Motorola's wireless network business, Huawei has tried to ensure that Motorola does not transfer this confidential information to NSN," Huawei said.

The Chinese telecom maker said Motorola has "not responded with assurances that it will prevent disclosure of that information to NSN."

"If Huawei's proprietary commercial property and information is transferred to a third party, Huawei will suffer irreparable commercial damage," it said.

Huawei said it was seeking to have the dispute settled by a arbitration.

Motorola Solutions rejected the Huawei claims.

"We believe this lawsuit is without merit," the company said in a statement.

"As previously stated, we are targeting to complete the sale of our networks business to NSN in early 2011 following receipt of approval from China's antitrust authorities," it said.

NSN said last month that its purchase of Motorola's wireless network infrastructure assets would be delayed pending approval from Chinese regulators.

On December 15, the European Commission gave the green light to the transaction. The deal has also received the approval of regulators in the United States.

Motorola sued Huawei in July, alleging it used Motorola employees to secure detailed confidential information about its cellular network equipment.

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