A jury for the US District Court of the Northern District of Illinois has awarded Motorola Solutions damages of $764.6 million in its theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement lawsuit against Hytera Communications of Shenzhen, China— the maximum Motorola Solutions had sought.
In early 2017 Motorola filed complaints in federal court alleging that Hytera’s digital mobile radio (DMR) products employed techniques and systems that infringed on Motorola Solutions’ patents and trade secrets. Already known for its Land Mobile Radio Service products, Hytera entered the Amateur Radio DMR market in 2016. Its ham products include the Hytera AR482Gi digital mobile radio.
Motorola alleged that proprietary and patented information was taken illegally by three former company engineers who went to work for Hytera, as “part of a deliberate scheme to steal and copy” its technology. The company said it would seek a global injunction to prevent Hytera from trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement, a Motorola spokesperson said following the verdict.
“Today’s verdicts are a tremendous victory for Motorola Solutions and a clear repudiation of the illegal and anticompetitive tactics employed by Hytera over the last decade,” the company said in a statement.
Motorola said technology features it developed started showing up in Hytera products soon after Hytera began hiring former Motorola engineers in 2008, according to the lawsuit.
The court victory marks Motorola’s fourth legal win against Hytera. In 2018, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Hytera had infringed several Motorola patents and issued an exclusion order preventing the importation, distribution, or sale of Hytera products found to be infringing the Motorola patents. Two courts in Germany also ruled that Hytera infringed on Motorola patents and implemented injunctions against those infringing products.
In a statement, Hytera expressed disappointment and disagreement with the verdict. “Hytera believes the verdict is unsupported by the evidence presented at trial. Hytera will appeal the verdict and is prepared for the appeal procedures ahead, which may take multiple years. Hytera maintains its faith that the American justice system will ultimately provide a fair outcome in this matter,” the company said on its website. Hytera went on to say that it has “enhanced its corporate governance and added new policies and procedures related to intellectual property and the onboarding of new employees.” Hytera said it’s “engaged in an ongoing process of removing the affected source code from the products at issue and has been rolling out updated software to the marketplace.”
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