Chinese manufacturer Huawei filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Motorola and Nokia Siemens Networks, accusing Motorola of illegally transferring Huawei's intellectual property to NSN. The complaint comes just as NSN is trying to finalize its $1.2 billion purchase of Motorola's network assets.
Huawei said that in 2000 the company entered into a cooperative relationship with Motorola in which Motorola resold Huawei's wireless networks products--including radio access network and core network products covering UMTS, GSM and other technologies--to customers using the Motorola name. Motorola was provided with products and confidential Huawei intellectual property under the agreement.
In the complaint, Huawei said Motorola is obligated to maintain the secrecy of the confidential information that Huawei provided under the agreement. The company said that since Motorola plans to transfer its wireless infrastructure business to Nokia Siemens Networks, which competes directly with Huawei, it will result in a disclosure of Huawei's confidential information to NSN and harm Huawei's business.
Huawei is asking for Motorola and NSN to modify their transaction to prevent the transfer to NSN of the portion of Motorola's business related to GSM and UMTS networks. Huawei named both Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) and Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI) in the suit. Motorola split into two companies earlier this month.
A spokeswoman for Motorola Solutions said that the company believes the lawsuit is without merit and is still targeting early 2011 to complete the sale of Motorola's networks business to NSN. A spokeswoman for Nokia Siemens Networks said that the company does not comment on pending lawsuits.
Interestingly, Huawei's complaint comes just as NSN is awaiting antitrust approval from Chinese authorities for its planned purchase of Motorola's network assets. The deal is supposed to close in the first quarter.
- see this Huawei complaint (PDF)
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This article was updated on Jan. 24, 2011 to include a response from Motorola Solutions regarding the lawsuit.