US vendor Motorola is suing Chinese rival Huawei for allegedly stealing “proprietary trade secrets and confidential information,” according to US court documents.
Motorola claims former staff engineer Shaowei Pan forwarded a confidential email about Motorola technology to Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, Bloomberg reported.
“Huawei and its officers knew they were receiving stolen Motorola proprietary trade secrets and confidential information without Motorola’s authorization and consent,” according to the District Court complaint dated July 16.
Motorola is suing for civil conspiracy and “threatened or actual” misappropriation of trade secrets. It is seeking the return of the proprietary trade secrets and damages.
Motorola accuses Huawei of thieving proprietary information since 2001.
The US vendor sued five former employees, including Pan, in 2008 for taking confidential information with them to tech start-up Lemko, which like Motorola is based in Schaumburg, Illinois.
That original complaint – now expanded to include the latest Huawei allegations – claims that Pan helped set up Lemko with a view to tapping trade secrets leaked from nearby Motorola colleagues.
“All of the allegations are ridiculous and false,” Faye Vorick, Lemko’s vice president marketing and a defendant in the case, told the WSJ.
“Many of the people named in the complaint left Motorola years before becoming employed at Lemko.”
A Huawei spokesperson told Telecoms Europe.net that the firm has a reseller agreement with Lemko, but is otherwise unconnected with the firm.
“The complaint is groundless and utterly without merit,” the staffer said, adding that the firm “will vigorously defend itself against baseless allegations.”
Cisco Systems accused Huawei of stealing its router code in 2003, and alleged in court documents that Huawei staff had tried to entice Cisco employees into revealing company secrets. The case was settled out of court.