Motorola Knew of Trade Secret Violations as Early as 2008, Hytera Says
Thursday, December 07, 2017 | Comments

Hytera Communications’ motion for summary judgment in the theft of trade secrets case brought against it by Motorola Solutions argues that company e-mails and other internal systems show that Motorola management should have known of the alleged violations by 2011 at the latest, and as early as 2008.

Hytera filed its motion at the end of November. Most of Hytera’s supporting arguments for its motion were unavailable when it first filed the motion because the company filed it provisionally under seal and asked Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan to allow it to either redact the document or put it fully under seal.

Either of those actions was necessary to protect sensitive information relating to Hytera’s business practices, the company said. Der-Yeghiayan granted the request to redact the document before it became publicly available.

While many of the specifics contained in the filing are redacted, the document still provides general insight into why Hytera believes the statutes of limitations on the alleged actions have passed.

Motorola’s complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleged that several former Motorola employees went to work with Hytera and brought with them Motorola trade secrets, which Hytera then used to develop Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products.

Motorola argued that these actions constitute violations of the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Illinois Trade Secrets Act, which carry three- and five-year statutes of limitations, respectively. The clock on those statutes begins as soon as a violation has been discovered or “by reasonable diligence should have been discovered.”

All three of the employees that Motorola says stole trade secrets left the company in 2008 and went to work with Hytera shortly thereafter. Hytera’s motion cites a series of at least 20 e-mails between Motorola employees, sent between 2008 and 2011, which it says show Motorola management knew of the alleged violations.

Full details of those e-mails are not publicly available because of the redaction.

The motion also argues that Motorola was aware of a Hytera patent application related to Hytera’s DMR products that listed one of the former Motorola employees as the inventor.

Hytera also argued that Motorola obtained and studied one of Hytera’s radios because of concerns within the company. The portion of the motion that details how Hytera learned that information, as well as other details, is redacted.

Additionally, the motion said that Motorola maintains a file repository and sharing system that contains access logs. The access logs of the former employees should have made Motorola aware that the former employees had potentially sensitive information, Hytera argued.

The theft of trade secrets case is just one of several cases in a wide-ranging legal battle between Hytera and Motorola that began earlier this year. Motorola has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Hytera in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, two German regional courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Federal Court of Australia. Hytera has in turn sued Motorola for patent infringement in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and for anticompetitive practices in the U.S. LMR market in the Federal District Court of New Jersey.

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