Judge Recuses Self from Hytera-Motorola Anticompetitive Practices Lawsuit
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | Comments

A judge for the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois recused himself from an anticompetitive practices lawsuit involving Motorola Solutions and Hytera Communications, citing his wife’s ownership of Motorola stock.

The case was transferred from the U.S. District Court of New Jersey and filed with the Illinois district court Jan. 9. District Judge Edmond Chang was assigned the case but filed a request to transfer it to another judge Jan. 11.

The court’s executive committee approved Chang’s request the same day and transferred the case to District Judge John Lee.

Hytera originally filed the anticompetitive practices lawsuit against Motorola in December 2017 in the District Court of New Jersey. The lawsuit alleges that Motorola has used a monopolistic scheme and sham litigation to damage Hytera’s reputation and impede and interfere with its relationships with dealers and customers in the U.S.

Motorola filed a motion to transfer the case from New Jersey to Illinois, arguing that the claims in the case arose from similar circumstance as two lawsuits that Motorola filed against Hytera in Illinois. Motorola filed patent infringement and theft of trade secrets lawsuits against Hytera in March 2017.

A New Jersey magistrate judge ruled in Motorola’s favor on the motion to transfer, finding that the legal factors weighed in favor of transfer.

District Judge Charles Norgle, with the assistance of Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole, is presiding over the theft of trade secrets case. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan originally presided over the theft of trade secrets case, but the cases was reassigned to Norgle following Der-Yeghiayan’s retirement in 2018.

District Judge John Robert Blakey is presiding over the patent infringement suit in Illinois. The patent infringement suit is on hold pending the final outcome of a patent infringement suit Motorola filed against Hytera with the International Trade Commission (ITC). In November, the ITC released a final determination finding that Hytera had infringed several Motorola patents but that redesigned products Hytera submitted did not infringe the patents.

As part of its ruling, the ITC issued exclusion and cease-and-desist orders that prevent Hytera from importing or selling and distributing the infringing products in the U.S. Shortly after the decision, Hytera released firmware to update existing products to the redesigned products and ceased sale of the infringing products.

The ITC case is in a presidential review period where President Donald Trump, or a representative, can disapprove the ITC’s decision. That decision is expected soon.

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