Feeds

Huawei accused of corporate theft

Motorola's secrets shipped to China - again?

Seven Steps to Software Security

Motorola has accused its own engineers of sending confidential documents to the founder of Huawei, and claims that the receiving company was well aware that the information was stolen.

The case, filed in Chicago, is against the Lemko Corp and originally accused five former Motorola workers of taking their secrets with them when they moved to Lemko – a company that has a reselling deal with Huawei. But the case has now been amended to accuse named engineers of sending confidential documents direct to Huawei.

Motorola is pretty explicit: "Huawei and its officers knew they were receiving stolen Motorola proprietary trade secrets and confidential information without Motorola’s authorization and consent," according to Reuters' reporting of the complaint. A sent mail was apparently recovered from the engineer's computer, with attached documents bearing the "confidential" stamp.

It's not the first time Motorola and Lemko have been at odds – back in 2008 a Motorola employee (who also seems to have been working for Lemko at the time) was picked up boarding a plane at O'Hare airport, on a one-way trip to China packing more than 1,000 Motorola documents and something in the region of $30,000 in cash too.

But it's not all one way: Lemko has accused ex-staff of taking secrets to Motorola too. Given the physical proximity of the two companies it's not surprising that engineers switch between them, but the flow does, in general, seem to be in Lemko's direction.

Reuters managed to get hold of Huawei, who pointed out that its only relationship with Lemko is that of a reseller, and that the allegations are baseless. Lemko, unsurprisingly, denies everything.

In the incestuous world of radio technologies it's hard to keep secrets from walking out of the door in the heads of engineers, and asking employees to forget all they've experienced is fanciful no matter how many confidentiality agreements they sign. But sending a competitor copies of confidential documents is another matter, and one that should be easier to prove if it's true.

Last time Huawei was accused of stealing trade secrets, by Cisco, the company dropped the routers in question and Cisco dropped the case; both sides claimed victory. But cases like this damage the image of China as a whole, bolstering the stereotypical image that China has been working hard to throw off - that of the industrious duplicator of other people's work. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.