Motorola Solutions has filed complaints in federal court (US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois), alleging that Hytera Communications’ digital mobile radio (DMR) products employ techniques and systems that infringe on Motorola Solutions’ patents and trade secrets. Already known for its Land Mobile Radio Service products, Hytera entered the Amateur Radio DMR market last year. Motorola alleges that proprietary and patented information was taken illegally by three former company engineers who now work for Hytera, as “part of a deliberate scheme to steal and copy” its technology.
“Motorola Solutions believes that Hytera is intentionally infringing its intellectual property and misappropriating its trade secrets, which has enabled Hytera to compete unfairly by bypassing investment in innovation,” Motorola said in a March 14 news release. Motorola Solutions General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer Mark Hacker characterized the copying as brazen, blatant, and willful.
The three former Motorola engineers all signed non-disclosure agreements, agreeing to treat all Motorola trade secretes as confidential, when they left the company to assume similar positions with Hytera. According to the lawsuit, none of the three disclosed beforehand that they intended to go to work for Hytera.
Motorola contends that its digital radio products were rendering Hytera’s analog systems obsolete, and rather than develop its own digital products, Hytera stole Motorola’s ideas, its attorneys allege. Motorola said technology features it developed started showing up in Hytera products soon after Hytera began hiring engineers who had left Motorola in 2008, according to the lawsuit.
In a statement, Hytera, which said its policy is not to comment on cases presently before a court, then proceeded to do just that. The manufacturer, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, said it adheres to high ethical standards and complies with “the laws and regulations in markets where we operate,” and “firmly believes that its business practices and operations will be fully vindicated.” — Thanks to IWCE’s Urgent Communications, The Chicago Tribune, and Motorola Solutions for information used in this story