Motorola Adds Copyright Infringement Claim to Australia Lawsuit Against Hytera
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | Comments

Motorola Solutions amended its patent infringement lawsuit against Hytera Communications in the Federal Court of Australia to include a copyright infringement claim.

Motorola’s new claim alleges that Hytera copied Motorola’s MOTOTRBO source code into its Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products. The claim includes new product models that Hytera recently released in the U.S. under the i-Series brand.

The claim is similar to one that Motorola added to a theft of trade secrets lawsuit it is pursuing against Hytera in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In that case, Motorola alleged that during the discovery phase of the case, it found that Hytera had stolen the source code and was using it in DMR products.

Motorola’s amended complaint in the Australian case was not immediately available.

Motorola is seeking damages or an account of profits and an injunction that would prevent the importation or sale of any products copying Motorola’s source code in Australia. That would include any products that have an adaptation of that source code, a Motorola statement said.

Motorola’s statement said affected products would include 37 portables, six mobiles and four repeaters.

In November, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Hytera infringed several Motorola U.S. patents and implemented sanctions that prevent the importation and sale of infringing products in the U.S. However, the ITC also ruled that redesigned products Hytera submitted — the i-Series — did not infringe Motorola’s patents, meaning that they could be sold in the U.S.

Almost immediately after the ITC’s ruling, Hytera and its American subsidiaries stopped selling their legacy DMR products and released a firmware update that upgrades those products to most capabilities of the i-Series.

In a press release shortly after the ITC released its final decision, Motorola said that it planned to evaluate Hytera’s new i-Series products to see if they contained any of the technologies involved in the ITC case or other Motorola patents.

In an interview earlier this month, Steve Cragg, vice president of sales, Hytera America, said that the i-Series capabilities had been rolled out in the rest of the world besides the U.S. in the middle of this year. The release of the i-Series was delayed in the U.S. because ITC case was pending at the time.

Cragg also said that while Hytera had released the new i-Series capabilities in the rest of the world, it had not branded that product update as the i-Series globally. That branding update was done in the U.S. because of the unique circumstances surrounding the ITC case, he said.

Motorola’s Australian patent infringement case alleges that certain Hytera DMR products infringe three Motorola Solutions Australian patents. Those patents are AU2005275355, “Method and system of scanning a TDMA channel;” AU2006276960, “Method and system of accessing a de-keyed base station;” and AU2009298764, “Method of efficiently synchronizing to a desired timeslot in a time division multiple access communication system.”

“As evidenced by our recent victories at the U.S. International Trade Commission and in Germany, Hytera is a serial infringer and copier that has cheated its way to the market,” said Mark Hacker, general counsel and chief administrative officer of Motorola Solutions. “We will not relent in holding Hytera accountable for its egregious and illegal behavior and protecting our intellectual property for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, employees, partners and other stakeholders.”

Two German courts recently ruled that Hytera and its Hytera Mobilfunk subsidiary infringed a Motorola German patent.

“As usual, our competitor used a procedural move for public relations as opposed to making an argument on the merits, issuing to media yet another installment in its long-running series of press releases about its legal maneuvers," a spokeperson for Hytera America said. "On Nov. 16, the US ITC made it clear in its final determination that Hytera’s new generation i-Series products do not infringe MSI’s (Motorola Solutions) asserted patents. Motorola Solutions is desperate, and it is trying to secure its monopoly in the market with legal maneuvers and misinformation campaigns.”

Hytera has until 1 February to file a response to Motorola’s amended lawsuit. Justice Nye Perram also set a hearing date of 4 May, 2020, for the copyright infringement claims. He previously set a hearing date of July 2019 for the patent infringement claims. His order does not make clear if that hearing will continue at the time or be held until the copyright infringement claims are heard.

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Comments
On 1/4/19, Leon van der Linde said:
It is a pity we cannot get a worldwide ban by buyers of the MOTOTRBO system because it is not compatible with any radios, and no radios are compatible with MOTOTRBO. The future is interoperability. Not exclusivity.
Motorola has always been on their own. It is time they are pushed out to the side and into the dark. Maybe they will wake up.

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