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Motorola v. Hytera

In yet another patent-infringement lawsuit against a Chinese company, Motorola has filed suit against Hytera Communications Corporation Ltd., alleging that the company has infringed 11 of Motorola’s patents for two-way radios, base stations, repeaters and dispatch systems.

This case is separate from the Motorola v. Hytera trade secret theft and copyright infringement lawsuit, also filed in Illinois District Court this year.

Motorola alleges that Hytera’s i-Series of products utilizes Motorola’s intellectual property and has previously successfully forced Hytera to remove three features covered by Motorola patents. With those features removed, Motorola decries Hytera’s offering as vastly inferior in terms of safety, speed and efficiency.

The ongoing battle between Motorola and Hytera is only the latest in a larger pattern of Chinese companies’ theft of American intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, etc.). It is ostensibly part of China’s longer-term plan to infiltrate and dilute U.S. markets, threatening the revenue and stability of U.S. companies.

Chinese theft of American IP happens on multiple scales in a variety of ways, from hacking into secure systems to steal information to insider theft to outright copying of a U.S. patented product. But no matter how it happens, these thefts have serious implications for both countries.

The sheer volume of these types of cases and lawsuits in the last decade would lead anyone to believe that these crimes are being sanctioned by the Chinese government and economic leadership. Ultimately, the end goal seems to be to use American IP against us, by flooding the market with competing companies (often built using the secrets and technology stolen from the same companies they would compete with).

Not to mention the value of the IP itself. Extrapolated to the entire U.S. economy, threats to American intellectual property can cause serious damage that can have major economic aftershocks.

Motorola’s case against Hytera will proceed in Illinois District Court, and the outcomes could be a significant signpost for our ability to fight back against China’s attacks with the legal system.

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