New Judge Sets Tentative Timeline for Addressing Post-Trial Motions in Hytera-Motorola Case
Friday, October 21, 2022 | Comments

The new judge in the ongoing theft of trade secrets lawsuit between Hytera Communications and Motorola Solutions proposed a schedule for dealing with two outstanding motions in the trial.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle, who was overseeing the case, retired, and the case was reassigned to District Judge Martha Pacold.

Motorola first filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that Hytera had stolen its trade secrets and used them in its Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products. In 2020, a jury found in favor of Motorola Solutions and awarded it $764.6 million in damages. Since the verdict, the two sides have filed several post-trial motions.

In one such motion, Motorola asked Norgle to implement a permanent injunction that would have prevented Hytera from selling, distributing or importing products determined to include Motorola trade secrets. Norgle denied that motion but ordered Hytera to pay a quarterly royalty for use of Motorola’s trade secrets starting in July.

In August, Hytera filed a motion saying it was unable to make the first royalty payment and asking Norgle to allow it to deposit shares of its stock into an escrow account as a security against its debts. After that, Motorola filed a motion asking the court to hold Hytera in contempt for failing to make the royalty payment.

Those two motions now fall to Pacold to decide. In a joint status report designed to get Pacold up to speed on the case, each party outlined its position in the case.

In its statement, Motorola said that Hytera has continued to sell products including its trade secrets and cause harm to Motorola’s business.

“Nearly three years ago, a jury in this case resoundingly condemned Hytera’s theft, recognizing the willful and malicious nature of its conduct and awarding damages that now total over $631M, findings that were subsequently confirmed by Judge Norgle in his post-trial orders,” Motorola’s filing said. “Since then, Hytera has proceeded as if the trial and verdict never happened, continuing to sell products incorporating the stolen technology and reaping the ongoing benefits of its illegal activities, without posting a supersedeas bond or paying a cent of what it presently owes. Hytera has bobbed and weaved through a web of lies to avoid remediation, claiming at first to Judge Norgle, to avoid an injunction, that it will instead pay a royalty to Motorola, but then, when it came time to pay the royalty, falsely stating, to avoid payment, that it lacks funds.”

Motorola argued that it has received no material relief after receiving the jury’s judgement in its favor and that Hytera has shown no intention to provide that relief, all while continuing to sell products including its trade secrets.

In its own statement in the joint summary report, Hytera accused Motorola of making “unsupported accusations, misleading statements and overheated rhetoric.”

“Hytera disputes these assertions, including that Hytera’s witnesses presented false testimony under oath, but will not make matters worse by responding to them here,” Hytera’s statement said.

Hytera argued that the parties should request briefings on its motion for relief of the royalty payments and then decide whether or not it needs to brief Motorola’s motion for contempt after that motion is decided.

“Hytera submits that Motorola’s motion should continue to be held in abeyance pending resolution of Hytera’s pending motion,” Hytera’s statement said. “A key ground for contempt raised in Motorola’s motion is that Hytera is in violation of the court’s royalty order. Since Hytera’s pending motion asks for relief from that order, this court should decide Hytera’s motion first. If the court grants the requested relief, Hytera will not be in violation of that order. Accordingly, a ruling on Hytera’s motion could eliminate the key ground for contempt raised in Motorola’s motion and perhaps moot the entire motion. The court and parties could address at a later time whether any briefing or hearing on Motorola’s motion is necessary.”

After reviewing the joint summary, Pacold requested another joint summary on a proposed schedule that would include the parties briefing the two motions simultaneously. That report is due October 25. Pacold also scheduled a status hearing for the case on October 26.

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