updated 08:35 pm EDT, Wed July 21, 2010
Dispute to be settled in court
Motorola has sued a Chinese competitor, Huawei Technologies, over an alleged plot involving years of industrial espionage. The latter company is accused of secretly working with over a dozen Motorola employees to obtain trade secrets related to cellular network equipment.
One of the employees named in the suit, Shaowei Pan, allegedly reported directly to Huawei founder and chairman Ren Zhengfei. Pan then left Motorola to form his own company, also based in Shaumburg, Ill., that was used to steal additional information from Motorola, according to the filing.
Huawei has labeled the lawsuit as "utterly without merit," according to a Wall Street Journal report (sub. required). Although Pan has not yet responded to the latest suit, he is said to have previously claimed many of the inventions were created after he left Motorola.
The complaint suggests Huawei was running a complex scheme involving many employees under the direction of Ren. Leaked information reportedly ranged from handset performance in emerging markets, to Motorola's base station equipment used for its 'seamless mobility' initiative.
Motorola is seeking damages for the stolen secrets, along with the return of such information. The case has yet to be settled.