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Motorola Solutions accuses Chinese Hytera of stealing trade secrets

Motorola SolutionsMotorola Solutions has sued China's Hytera Communications, accusing the radio-maker of infringing on patents and using secrets stolen by poached employees.

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Motorola Solutions filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The suit alleges three Motorola Solutions employees stole more than 7,000 files related to its proprietary products and technologies and took them to their subsequent employer, Hytera Communications Corporation Limited, based in Shenzhen, China.

The three senior radio engineers named in the suit are Gee Siong Kok, now Hytera's senior vice president responsible for digital technologies; Samuel Chia, now software engineering director at Hytera; and Yih Tzye Kok, now Hytera's sales director.

Hytera was a distributor for Motorola products until 2001 and now supplies mostly analog radio equipment, the suit says.

"Motorola’s investment in innovating digital radio was rendering Hytera’s outdated analog systems obsolete," Motorola Solutions' lawyers wrote in the complaint. Rather than invest in developing their own digital products, they stole Motorola's ideas, the lawyers allege.

The suit alleges that, starting in 2008, Hytera poached three Motorola engineers who had knowledge of and access to Motorola's intellectual property. It claims the theft of more than 7,000 files was intentionally hidden from Motorola so that it would not be discovered until years later.

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