Chinese telecom company Hytera has been charged with stealing Motorola’s trade secrets. The indictment contains 21 allegations stating that Hytera and former Motorola employees stole intellectual and trade secrets.
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According to a statement released by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Feb. 7, a Chinese firm and three former Motorola workers have been charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from the company.
According to the allegations, Hytera, a telecommunications firm based in Shenzhen, China, launched a concerted attempt to recruit Motorola employees by promising them higher salary and perks in exchange for stealing trade secrets from Motorola.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) identified Hytera, along with Chinese telecom corporations Huawei and ZTE, as a national security concern in March of last year. The corporation replied by calling the FCC’s ruling “anti-competitive” at the time.
According to the DOC, certain Hytera technologies were entirely reliant on Motorola technology that it methodically stole.
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According to a heavily redacted copy of the indictment unsealed on Feb. 7, Hytera and the unnamed recruited employees used Motorola’s proprietary and trade secret information to speed up the development of Hytera’s digital mobile radio (DMR) products, train Hytera employees, and market and sell Hytera’s DMR products around the world from 2007 to 2020.
The alleged plot started after the FCC announced in 2004 that all DMRs would have to use a narrower bandwidth by 2013.
Hytera allegedly began stealing Motorola’s new technologies in 2007 in order to meet the increased standards. By 2010, Hytera had established wholly-owned U.S. affiliates to market the devices.
Messages from the accused’s email threads are repeated throughout the indictment, painting a less-than-flattering picture of Hytera, Motorola employees, and their efforts.
In May 2008, one former Motorola employee wrote about their non-disclosure agreements with the company saying, “We have/will signed the NDA and some of our lies may cause problems once Motorola finds out”.
Former Motorola personnel identified as “technical people” who worked on both software and hardware development.
A conspirator described Hytera as a “company setup from purely copying” in one correspondence.
In another, they stated that their goal was to “reuse as much as possible from the existing Motorola product.”
“We are trying to grab whatever we can,” a conspirator said in another, referring to the theft of 30 gigabytes of confidential data.
In February 2008, the conspirator wrote,“Do you have anything in mind that you need while we are still here? Maybe something in [the Motorola database]. :-),”.
According to the indictment, Hytera’s technology was based on original and modified software that included Motorola source code, which it then sold to customers all over the world. The trade secrets were allegedly stolen from an internal server in Illinois, according to the lawsuit.
According to the indictment, a login, password, security token, Motorola laptop, and supervisory approval were required to remotely access the server from a Hytera facility in Malaysia.
One of the Hytera conspirators claimed that the business had fired them in 2018 when questioned about the topic during a previous law suit. They did, in fact, continue to work for the corporation until 2020, according to the indictment, though the document did not specify what capacity they were employed in.
The indictment contains 21 allegations stating that Hytera and former Motorola employees stole intellectual and trade secrets developed over years of research and development by Motorola.
If convicted, Hytera could face a penalties of up to three times the value of the stolen trade secret to the corporation, plus charges for research, design, and other costs that were avoided.
Hytera and Motorola were reached for comment by The Epoch Times.