Motorola Says Statute of Limitations Has Not Passed in Lawsuit Against Hytera
Friday, June 30, 2017 | Comments

Motorola Solutions argued that it is still within the statute of limitations and that it provided adequate information for Hytera Communications, in its response to Hytera’s motion to dismiss Motorola’s theft of trade secrets lawsuit.

In March, Motorola filed a theft of trade secrets complaint against Hytera in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

In its original complaint, Motorola alleged that several former Motorola employees downloaded thousands of confidential documents containing trade secrets, resigned and then went to work for Hytera. Hytera then used that information to manufacture products using proprietary Motorola technology, the complaint alleged.

In June, attorneys for Hytera filed a motion asking judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan to dismiss the case. In that motion, Hytera argued that under both the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Illinois Trade Secrets Act, the lawsuit was invalid because the theft of trade secrets alleged by Motorola occurred more than five years ago, meaning that the statute of limitations for both acts had passed.

Hytera also argued in its motion that the information contained in Motorola’s original complaint was vague and ambiguous, including adequate information on what trade secrets were stolen, making it difficult to respond to the complaint.

In its response, Motorola argued that the statute of limitations had not passed because that clock does not does not start until the theft is “discovered or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered.”

Motorola also rejected Hytera’s argument that there was enough publicly available information for Motorola to notice the alleged acts and bring legal action several years ago.

“But as set forth in the complaint, there is no question that Motorola had not actually discovered the misappropriation until shortly before the complaint was filed,” Motorola’s response said. “Nor could Motorola have discovered the misappropriation through the exercise of reasonable diligence … Indeed, the Hytera employees took measures to cover up the misappropriation.”

As for the publicly available documents Hytera’s motion referred to, Motorola argued that even if it was aware of those documents, they did not disclose any of Motorola’s trade secrets and did not contain information that would allow Motorola to discover the theft of trade secrets.

In responding to Hytera’s allegation that the information contained in the original complaint was inadequate for a response, Motorola argued that it had met the legal requirements for disclosure, and any more detail on the secrets in the complaint could lead to public disclosure of those secrets.

“And as Hytera acknowledges, given the public nature of the complaint, disclosure by Motorola in its complaint of confidential details of trade secrets could jeopardize those trade secrets,” Motorola’s response said.

That particular objection by Hytera will be addressed during the discovery phase of the trial, and, therefore, that objection shouldn’t be used as a reason to dismiss the case, the response concluded.

Der-Yeghiayan gave Hytera until July 24 to reply to Motorola’s response. The judge will then make a decision on the motion and release his order by mail.

In addition to the theft of trade secrets case, Motorola filed a lawsuit alleging patent infringement against Hytera in the same district court. A judge placed a stay on that case until the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) concludes its investigation into a patent infringement complaint Motorola filed with it.

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