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Huawei wins US ruling against Motorola

2011-02-25 10:25

CHICAGO - Motorola Solutions Inc can't disclose to Nokia Siemens Networks trade secrets of Huawei Technologies Co, China's biggest maker of telecommunications network equipment, a US judge said.

Motorola Solutions is selling its wireless network infrastructure business, which incorporates Huawei technology, to a joint venture of Finland's Nokia Oyj and Munich-based Siemens AG for $1.2 billion.

Motorola and its corporate predecessor have been reselling licensed Huawei products under its own name since a June 2000 accord.

US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in Chicago on Thursday also ordered the Shenzhen, China-based company to post a $500,000 bond to indemnify Motorola and Nokia if they were wrongly enjoined. The Huawei-Motorola dispute is scheduled to go before an arbitration tribunal in Geneva.

"The court concludes that Huawei is likely to suffer irreparable harm if, without Huawei's consent and prior to arbitration, Motorola provides NSN with Huawei confidential information," Coleman said in her ruling.

Huawei provided Motorola Solutions, one of two offshoots of Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola Inc, with confidential information to allow Motorola to provide vendor-level support and services to its customers using Huawei equipment.

"NSN will need the Huawei confidential information to provide the newly acquired Motorola customers with the same level of vendor support, service and maintenance that Motorola provided," Coleman said.

Motorola had told the judge that Huawei's rights hadn't been violated and wouldn't be.

"Motorola Solutions has not made any unauthorized disclosures of Huawei confidential information, nor will it," the company said in a Feb 9 court filing.

"As we stated in court, Motorola Solutions respects, and will continue to protect, Huawei's confidential information as per the agreements that we have with Huawei," Nick Sweers, a Motorola Solutions spokesman, said in a statement.

"We still plan to pursue the final transaction approval with Chinese regulatory authorities."

Motorola Solutions plans to close the transaction this quarter, Sweers said.

Nokia Siemens has "no interest in getting unlawful access to Huawei's trade secrets", the company said in a statement.

Nokia Siemens's motivation for the acquisition is to expand its presence in the United States and Japan, the company said.

Bill Plummer, a spokesman for Huawei, called Nokia Siemens "a significant competitor" and said in a phone interview that disclosure of Huawei's intellectual property to the joint venture wasn't acceptable and "would do grievous harm".

"We are certainly pleased that the court is recognizing the merits of our claim," Plummer said.

Bloomberg News

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