Judge: Motorola can’t transfer Huawei technology

By Wailin Wong
Posted Jan. 25 at 10:14 a.m.

An Illinois judge has dealt a setback to Motorola in a legal dispute with Chinese company Huawei Technologies over Motorola’s planned sale of its networks business.

Huawei sued Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that the sale of the networks business to Nokia Siemens Networks would represent a misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract between Motorola and Huawei.

Later Monday, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman entered a temporary restraining order that bars Motorola, Motorola Solutions and Motorola Mobility from disclosing confidential Huawei information to Nokia Siemens Networks.

Motorola and Huawei have a series of agreements dating to 2000 governing wireless technologies that the Chinese company developed for Motorola to resell under its own brand. Huawei said it does not want those agreements reassigned to Nokia Siemens Networks because it sells competing hardware and software to the same customers as the European company.

Motorola and Nokia Siemens Networks announced their $1.2 billion transaction in July. The deal still needs approval from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau. The judge’s Monday order requires Motorola to notify the court within 24 hours of receiving this regulatory approval.

On Tuesday, Motorola reiterated its statement from the previous day, saying that the Huawei suit is without merit and that it continues to target early 2011 for completing the sale of the networks business.


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