February 23, 2011 / 1:50 AM / 8 years ago

Huawei wins preliminary order in Motorla secrets case

NEW YORK (Reuters) - China’s Huawei Technologies Co on Tuesday won a federal court order barring Motorola Solutions Inc from disclosing a variety of confidential Huawei information to rival Nokia Siemens Networks.

But Motorola Solutions said it was pleased that the judge denied Huawei’s request to block its $1.2 billion sale of its networks business to Nokia Siemens.

Huawei had sued last month to block the sale, demanding that terms be altered to protect its trade secrets and intellectual property rights.

The defendants include Motorola Solutions, which holds the network equipment unit being sold, and Nokia Siemens, a venture of Finland’s Nokia Oyj and Germany’s Siemens AG.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in Chicago said Huawei had shown a “reasonable likelihood of success” on the merits of its claim that Motorola Solutions and Nokia Siemens might misappropriate trade secrets, and that “irreparable competitive harm” could result.

But Nick Sweers, a Motorola Solutions spokesman, said his company was “extremely pleased” that the judge denied Huawei’s request to block the sale of the networks business to Nokia Siemens.

Sweers said Motorola told the court that it would protect Huawei confidential information. He also said the company was still pursuing regulatory approval for its networks business sale from Chinese authorities.

Huawei said that the ruling showed that the court recognized the merits of its claim that Motorola must abide by its contractual obligations to protect Huawei’s trade secrets and intellectual property.

“The legal action was carried out only after Motorola was unable to assure us that they would meet their contractual obligations to protect our intellectual property,” said Huawei spokesman Ross Gan. “We have no interest in stopping the transaction between Motorola and our direct competitor.”

A lawyer for Nokia Siemens did not immediately return a call.

China’s antitrust regulator has been reviewing the $1.2 billion transaction, and Nokia Siemens has said the review has delayed the closing, which was once expected last year.

Sweers said Motorola Solutions still hopes to close the transaction this quarter.

Another defendant, Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc, was dismissed from the case on February 11, court records show.

Motorola Mobility was split from the rest of Motorola on January 4.

The case is Huawei Technologies Co v. Motorola Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 11-00497.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, Michael Erman and Sinead Carew in New York; Additional reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore and Kelvin Soh in Hong Kong; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott and Erica Billingham

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