Hytera Sues Motorola for Patent Infringement in MOTOTRBO Portables
Monday, August 28, 2017 | Comments

Shenzhen, China-based Hytera Communications filed a lawsuit against Motorola Solutions in a U.S. federal district court in Cleveland, charging that Motorola Solutions is infringing Hytera's U.S. Patent No. 9,183,846, which covers its sound adjustment control technology.

Hytera's '846 patent is a method for adjusting sound volume in response to background or ambient noise, allowing a radio operator to hear and speak over it. The device obtains the current level of ambient noise, receives an instruction and appropriately adjusts sound output. Hytera's complaint asserts that Motorola Solutions unlawfully misappropriates Hytera’s patented technology for sound adjustment, incorporating it into its MOTOTRBO portable radios.

"Motorola Solutions is infringing Hytera's sound adjustment control patent," said Andrew Yuan, Hytera's president of North and South America. "Hytera is a leader in innovative technologies, and an adamant advocate of intellectual property rights. We will look to enforce our patents in court in the U.S. and worldwide."

Hytera further claims that Motorola has been and is indirectly infringing Hytera's ‘846 patent by actively inducing direct infringement by other persons who use products that embody one or more of the claims of the patent while Motorola had knowledge of the patent, knew or should have known that its actions would induce direct infringement by others, and intended that its actions would induce such direct infringement. Hytera is also alleging contributory infringement. Hytera is seeking damages and will pursue further relief as appropriate.

Hytera invests up to 15 percent of annual revenue in research and development (R&D), including in open standard technologies, and is developing customized solutions that couple Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband for video and data transmission with traditional professional mobile radio (PMR) narrowband two-way voice communications, said Yuan. Hytera holds 480 issued patents, including 269 patents for digital products such as Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), TETRA and Professional Digital Trunking (PDT).

"Hytera has changed the landscape of the PMR business with its constant innovations, especially after its launch of a digital product line in 2010," said Tom Wineland, director of sales for Hytera Communications America (West) in Irvine, California. "Our patented sound adjustment functionality is one of the many innovations that Hytera has incorporated into our digital products, and users in markets around the world have embraced this feature."

Hytera filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, in Cleveland. The patent at issue is titled “Method and Device for Adaptively Adjusting Sound Effect.” Todd Tucker of the Cleveland-based law firm Calfee, Halter & Griswold represents Hytera in this action.

In March, Motorola filed patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation lawsuits against Hytera and is seeking to stop Hytera’s sales and import of the infringing products in the United States. The U.S.-based company later filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and similar lawsuits in German and Australian courts. The U.S. theft of trade secrets lawsuit is moving forward with several motions and replies filed by both companies.

"While Motorola Solutions has not been served with Hytera’s complaint, based on Hytera’s public statements, we believe their complaint is entirely without merit," Motorola said in a statement. "We believe today’s action is a transparent attempt to shift attention away from Motorola Solutions’ recent global efforts to stop Hytera’s egregious theft of our intellectual property and trade secrets. Motorola Solutions has a long and distinguished track record of innovation, underscored by an extensive portfolio of more than 4,000 patents, and we are committed to vigorously defending our valuable intellectual property. We stand by our pending actions against Hytera in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, the United States International Trade Commission, the Regional Courts of Düsseldorf and Mannheim in Germany, and the Federal Court of Australia, and we will continue to aggressively pursue legal remedies around the world."

“From our point of view, we’re constantly innovating, and if we were to find, like we did in this case, that someone is infringing on our patents, we will take the appropriate measures,” Hytera's Wineland said. “We vigorously defend our patents worldwide.”

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