$1.2 billion NSN Motorola deal blocked by Huawei lawsuit

A judge looks has put Motorola’s planned sale of it $1.2 billion telecommunication network equipment business on hold, following a row with Huawei Technologies over intellectual property.

The lawsuit will mean that a proposed deal with Nokia Siemens Networks will have to be put on hold until the dispute is settled as a temporary restraining order prevents Motorola handing over any of Huawei’s confidential information.

The lawsuit concerns proprietary technology, which is embedded in some Motorola products and would be transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks in a deal, a competitor in the market.

In response to the suit, filed on Monday, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman immediately put in place a restraining order, though this is not believed to have been done on the merits of the case, rather to protect Huawei ahead of any potential findings. 

So Huawei, which is more used to being on the receiving end of flak, has so far only been able to delay the deal from going ahead.

In fact it was Motorola who sued Huawei back in July, over accusations of engaging in a plot to steal technology via a front company that hired Motorola employees, though Huawei of course denies this.

Judge Johnson also told Motorola that it must notify Huawei straight away if there is any decision from China’s Ministry of Commerce, which is in charge of reviewing the deal.

It is said that Motorola will contest the decision by Judge Johnson.