Motorola and Huawei call patent ceasefire

Motorola and Huawei have finally kissed and made up.

The companies have announced there’s a happy medium in that patent dispute, and have entered into an agreement to settle all lawsuits between them. The move has now cleared the way for Motorola to complete the sale of one of its business units to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).

The pair had a happy relationship in the radio access network and core network businesses since 2000. Throughout this time Motorola resold Huawei wireless network products to customers under the Motorola name. Huawei claims that during this cheerful time it provided Motorola with products and confidential Huawei IP developed by the company’s engineers.

However, things turned sour when in 2008 Motorola sued the company for allegedly conspiring with former employees to steal trade secrets.

It said that in 2001, five of its former employees left to join Lemko, which has a reseller agreement with Huawei. It alleged that they had taken trade secrets along the way.

Huawei puffed out its chest in July last year when NSN announced that it wanted to buy Motorola’s network equipment business for $1.2 billion. In January, Huawei it kicked up a stink and took legal action to block Motorola from what it claimed was the illegal transfer of  its intellectual property to Nokia Siemens Networks.

Now the pair have had their heads bashed together. Motorola has agreed to  withdraw its claims and dismiss the Motorola v. Lemko litigation pending, while Huawei has responded by agreeing to withdraw its lawsuit against Motorola Solutions and NSN.

Motorola will now be allowed to transfer its commercial agreements with Huawei to NSN for a fee, and it allows NSN to receive and use Huawei confidential information to service the networks Motorola deployed worldwide using Huawei’s products and technologies.

Both companies have issued statements. Motorola sounded a little defeated: “We regret that these disputes have occurred between our two companies. Motorola Solutions values the long-standing relationship we have had with Huawei. After reviewing the facts, we decided to resolve these matters and return to our traditional relationship of confidence and trust.”

While Huawei was rather more stern, insisting: “Huawei provided Motorola’s experts and counsel with source code and millions of documents. Huawei acted properly and above board at all times and developed its products independently and without the use of any Motorola trade secrets.”