Motorola has amended a two-year-old industrial spying lawsuit to include competitor Huawei Technologies, which Motorola claims received valuable technology from its own rogue employees.
The lawsuit was originally filed in September 2008 against five former Motorola employees, four of whom held Chinese citizenship and another who held both U.S. and Chinese citizenship.
They were accused in part of accessing and transferring Motorola's intellectual property to a company called Lemko of Schaumburg, Illinois, which the suit alleged they were secretly working for.
But in the latest July 16 filing, Motorola contends that one of the defendants, Shaowei Pan, had direct contact with Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei.
"Defendant Shaowei Pan was a trusted senior engineer and director of architecture working full time at Motorola on the development of new products and new technologies for Motorola," according to the amended complaint. "However, as set forth below, Defendant Shaowei Pan and the other defendants secretly were engaged in new product development for Huawei."
In the lawsuit, Motorola said that the technology transferred included information related to its SC300 base station transceiver, a component used for IP (Internet protocol) soft switching technology for cellular systems.
"The Motorola SC300 specifications have been recovered from Defendant Pan's computer, and the Motorola specification sent to Huawei by defendant Shaowei Pan is marked 'Motorola Confidential Proprietary' on the front page of the specification and every page of the specification," the lawsuit reads.
Motorola is asking for Huawei to return its proprietary trade secrets along with compensatory damages, among other demands.
Huawei said in a statement that it has a reseller agreement with Lemko but no other relationship and just recently learned of the amended lawsuit. The company also said it has agreement with Motorola to resell Huawei's wireless equipment.
"Based on our review of the complaint so far, the complaint is groundless and utterly without merit," according to the statement. "Huawei has great respect for the rights of intellectual property holders."