No Change in Motorola-Hytera ITC Decision Following Presidential Review
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | Comments

The presidential review period in Motorola Solutions’ patent infringement suit against Hytera Communications with the International Trade Commission (ITC) passed with no change to the ITC’s final determination.

As a result, exclusion and cease-and-desist orders preventing the importation, sale and distribution of Hytera Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products found to infringe three Motorola patents went into effect Jan. 16.

In November, the ITC released a final determination confirming an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) initial determination that Hytera infringed several Motorola patents and recommending exclusion and cease-and-desist orders against the infringing products. However, the ITC also overturned the ALJ’s finding that redesigned products submitted by Hytera for the ITC’s approval infringed Motorola patents.

Under ITC rules, the U.S. president, or a representative, has 60 days to disapprove a final determination by the ITC. The ITC’s final determination was issued Nov. 16.

Hytera products affected by the exclusion and cease-and-desist orders are the MD652, MD782, BD302, BD362, BD502, PD412, PD502, PD562, PD602, PD662, PD682, PD702, PD752, PD782, PD792, PD982, X1e and X1p radios, as well as the RD622 and RD982 repeaters.

“The commencement of the importation ban and the rejection of Hytera’s request for a repair and service exception are major steps in holding Hytera accountable for its theft and serial infringement of our patents, technology and innovation,” said Mark Hacker, general counsel and chief administrative officer for Motorola Solutions, said in a statement. “Motorola Solutions welcomes legitimate competition, but it is only legitimate when companies compete on the basis of their own original technologies. We will continue to vigorously defend our intellectual property for the benefit of our stakeholders around the world, and we look forward to presenting our trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement claims to a jury in Chicago in November.”

Hytera released a firmware update that upgrades existing products to the capabilities of the new, redesigned i-Series products and began selling the i-Series products in place of existing products in November.

“The review is simply the procedural conclusion of a process all parties understood two months ago, and the main takeaway remains that Hytera’s new generation of i-Series DMR radios do not infringe any patents, and we will continue to be able to offer our entire product line in the U.S.,” a Hytera spokesperson said. “The new generation of i-Series products is already available to our dealers and customers, despite Motorola Solutions’ attempts to suggest otherwise. Motorola Solutions’ continued efforts to misinform, rehash and reframe the ITC ruling are aimed at confusing our customers in an ongoing campaign seeking to exclude us from competing in the market. That is why Hytera is suing Motorola Solutions for various forms of anticompetitive conduct under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

Motorola has also filed theft of trade secrets and patent infringement suits against Hytera in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The patent infringement suit was put on hold pending the outcome of the ITC case, while the theft of trade secrets case is scheduled to go to trial in November.

Meanwhile, Hytera filed an anticompetitive practices lawsuit in the U.S. District for New Jersey, alleging that Motorola has used a monopolistic scheme including sham litigation to interfere with Hytera’s relationship with distributors and customers and prevent it from competing in the U.S. market. That case was recently transferred to Illinois after a judge determined that it rose out of similar claims to the patent infringement and theft of trade secrets suit and the legal factors favored transfer.

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