Federal authorities charged China-based telecommunications firm Hytera Communications with conspiring to steal trade secrets from a U.S. company, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday.
Hytera allegedly recruited employees from U.S. telecommunications company Motorola to steal digital mobile radio (DMR) technology, according to an indictment unsealed Monday. The Chinese company then allegedly used Motorola’s technology to accelerate the development of its own DMR products, the DOJ announced.
“At Hytera’s direction and for the benefit of Hytera and others, the individual defendants took proprietary and trade secret information from Motorola without authorization. Motorola’s proprietary and trade secret information was used by Hytera and the individual defendants to accelerate the development of Hytera’s DMR products,” the indictment read.
Hytera allegedly carried out its scheme to steal Motorola’s technology from 2007 to 2020, according to the indictment. Emails from the period indicate a high degree of cooperation between Hytera and Motorola employees to steal DRM technology.
“Are we going to ‘reuse’ as much as possible or we need to develop most of them from scratch to avoid patent infringement,” one defendant allegedly wrote in an email with another accused conspirator. “[Redacted] and I will discuss about this.”
The company is also charged with illegal possession of trade secrets, according to the indictment.
If convicted, Hytera could be fined up to three times the value of the stolen trade secrets to the company, “including expenses for research, design, and other costs that it avoided,” according to the DOJ’s announcement.
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