Second German Court Rules on Hytera-Motorola Lawsuit
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | Comments

The German Regional Court of Dusseldorf ruled Nov. 20 that Hytera Communications and German subsidiary Hytera Mobilfunk infringed a Motorola patent.

The court determined that Hytera’s two-way Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) subscriber radios that use Hytera’s “pseudo-trunking” functionality in TDMA direct mode infringe Motorola’s European Patent 2 342 851 B1. That patent describes a “method of efficiently synchronizing to a desired timeslot in a time division multiple access communication system,” according to the European Patent Office’s database.

The regional court granted two injunctions against Hytera. The first prevents Hytera from offering the method described in the patent in Germany, and the second prevents Hytera from offering and delivering products capable of performing that described method in Germany.

Hytera will also be held liable for damages. Hytera can appeal the court’s decision, but the injunctions are enforceable as soon as Motorola posts a required security. Motorola expected to complete that process soon, a statement said.

“The regional court has granted two injunctions against Hytera,” said Mark Hacker, general counsel and chief administrative officer, Motorola Solutions. “Significantly, today’s ruling covers additional Hytera DMR subscribers beyond those that were previously found to infringe our patented squelch technology in an earlier judgment.”

In a statement of its own, Hytera Mobilfunk said that it had removed the features identified in Motorola's lawsuit from its entire DMR product portfolio with a software release in September.

"We respect the decision of the district court, but we are still firmly convinced that we in no way violate an existing patent and will therefore appeal," said Matthias Klausing, CeO of Hytera Mobilfunk.

The decision marks Motorola’s second legal victory against Hytera in Germany this year. In July, the German Regional Court of Mannheim ruled that Hytera infringed on Motorola’s European Patent 1 139 562 B2, which describes “a radio with a squelch circuit and method.”

Similar to the Dusseldorf decision, the Mannheim court instituted an injunction against Hytera that prohibits the sale, importation and distribution of infringing products. Unlike the Dusseldorf decision, the Mannheim injunction also ordered the recall and destruction of infringing products sold previously by Hytera Mobilfunk. There is no recall component to the latest Dusseldorf injunctions.

“Motorola Solutions embraces legitimate competition,” Hacker said. “In fact, we believe that robust, fair competition drives innovation and benefits our customers and industry as a whole. However, Hytera’s infringement creates an uneven playing field, which ultimately stifles innovation and hurts customers and other end users. On behalf of our customers, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, we are committed to defending our proprietary technologies and investments in innovation around the globe.”

Hytera did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The Dusseldorf decision marks Motorola’s second legal victory over Hytera in less than a week. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a final determination Nov. 16 that Hytera infringed certain claims of three Motorola U.S. patents and instituted orders that prevent the importation and sale of infringing products into the U.S. However, the ITC also determined that redesigned products Hytera submitted for review do not infringe the three Motorola U.S. patents.

Motorola has also filed patent infringement theft of trade secrets cases against Hytera in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and a patent infringement case against Hytera in the Federal Court of Australia. Those three cases are still proceeding through the legal process.

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