Hytera Requests Review of ITC Judge’s Initial Determination in Motorola Patent Case
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 | Comments

Hytera Communications filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting review of a final initial determination issued July 3 by ITC Administrative Law Judge MaryJoan McNamara that features in Hytera's Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products sold in the U.S. infringe patents of Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI).

Hytera's position remains that its products sold in the United States do not infringe Motorola’s patents and that the initial determination is incorrect. Motorola originally asserted seven patents in its complaint but later withdrew three. McNamara ruled that a limited number of claims in the four remaining patents at issue are infringed but also determined that MSI did not satisfy the technical industry prong of the domestic industry requirement as to another of its patents and did not find Hytera to have violated the statute with respect to that patent.

During proceedings in this case, before the period for factual discovery ended, Hytera produced for the judge’s consideration documents and source code related to several new designs. In addition to asking the ITC to reverse the judge’s initial determination, Hytera has also petitioned the commission to affirm that these latest products do not infringe Motorola’s patents.

"Hytera is confident that our designs for our next-generation DMR product portfolio do not infringe any of the asserted patents of MSI," said Tom Wineland, vice president of Hytera Communications America (West). "MSI did not oppose our new designs based on six of the asserted patents."

In June, Hytera announced a new range of features for its DMR portfolio, including mobile radios, portable radios and repeaters. These new features include extending full-duplex calling into repeater-mode operation (RMO) and direct-mode operation (DMO), enlarging full-duplex coverage beyond trunking mode without requiring extra hardware. Hytera also extended its over-the-air programming capability to conventional repeater operation, allowing individual radios to be reprogrammed remotely. Furthermore, optimized push-to-talk (PTT) functionality allows users to talk instantly after PTT even before a call is established.

"Hytera's new features for digital mobile and portable radios and repeaters promote higher productivity, help improve the safety of users and offer a better user experience," Wineland said. "They boost Hytera’s leading position in providing innovative, versatile, high-quality DMR solutions that also present a compelling value to our dealers and customers."

Hytera's petition before the ITC remains confidential by terms established by the commission, which typically completes reviews within 120 days. Because the ITC has not issued its final decision, there is no current constraint on the import or sale of any of Hytera’s products.

“As we noted when the ITC issued its initial determination, Judge NcNamara’s ruling follows a lengthy investigation that culminated in a weeklong hearing with testimony from both Motorola Solutions and Hytera witnesses, hundreds of pages of briefing materials and thousands of exhibits," a Motorola statement said. "As such, the judge’s ruling validates our allegations, upholds the integrity of our intellectual property and rebukes Hytera for its unscrupulous and unlawful behavior in willfully infringing Motorola Solutions’ patents. We are confident that the full ITC will uphold this decision in its final determination.”

Earlier this week, the ITC sought comments on public interest issues raised by the relief recommended by the judge in the patent infringement suit.

In May, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) accepted three Hytera petitions to look at whether three Motorola patents are invalid based on prior art.

"Hytera looks forward to the disposition of this case at the ITC and to resolving the series of nuisance litigations our competitor has filed against us," said Wineland. "Hytera is focused on innovation and prefers to compete fairly in the marketplace rather than in the courtroom. Hytera is confident that our products do not infringe."

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