Motorola awarded $764.6m in court ruling against Hytera

Motorola Solutions was awarded $764.6 million in damages by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on 14 February 2020 after it found in favour of the US company in its trade secret theft and copyright infringement case against China’s Hytera Communications.

The jury awarded Motorola $345.8 million in compensatory damages and $418.8 million in punitive damages. The award was the maximum amount Motorola requested. Motorola said that following the verdict, the company will seek a worldwide injunction preventing Hytera from further misappropriating Motorola trade secrets and infringing its copyrights.

In a statement issued on 14 February, Hytera said it was disappointed by the court’s verdict, and respectfully disagreed with the jury. “Hytera believes the verdict is unsupported by the evidence presented at trial. Hytera will appeal the verdict and is prepared for the appeal procedures ahead, which may take multiple years. Hytera maintains its faith that the American justice system will ultimately provide a fair outcome in this matter.”

Hytera added that it: “has enhanced its corporate governance and added new policies and procedures related to intellectual property and the onboarding of new employees. In addition, Hytera is engaged in an ongoing process of removing the affected source code from the products at issue and has been rolling out updated software to the marketplace.”

The trade secret theft complaint was initially filed on 14 March 2017. Motorola asserted that Hytera’s two-way radios and repeaters are using stolen Motorola trade secrets. Motorola amended its complaint on 30 July 2018 to include copyright infringement allegations, asserting that Hytera also unlawfully copied Motorola Solutions’ source code into the source code used in Hytera products.

Motorola also has a separate patent infringement case pending against Hytera in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which is expected to proceed to trial in late 2020 or early 2021. That case asserts that Hytera’s two-way radios, repeaters, and dispatch systems are infringing seven Motorola patents.

The US company has won three previous court cases against Hytera. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) previously ruled that Hytera’s two-way radios and repeaters infringe four of those patents and issued exclusion orders prohibiting the importation and sale of certain Hytera products in the U.S. Hytera did not appeal the ITC’s ruling.

In Germany, two courts have also ruled that Hytera had infringed Motorola patents and injunctions were implemented against those infringing products.