Huawei And Ex-Employee Locked In IP Theft Battle

The very embattled Huawei Technologies has accused a former employee of poaching workers and stealing their proprietary intellectual property in order to launch a competing firm backed by Microsoft and Dell.

In a December 2017 lawsuit, Huawei alleged in 2017 that Yiren “Ronnie” Huang stole technology and recruited 14 of its employees. Huang was hired in 2010 as a principal engineer for the Chinese company’s solid-state drive (SSD) storage group. In June, 2013, Huang left Huawei subsidiary Futurewei along with several others, before incorporating competing CNEX Labs. 

Huang used information he obtained through his employment at FutureWei along with FutureWei’s resources and technology in drafting these patent applications,” Huawei alleged in its complaint. 

The San Jose-based CNEX shot back, filing a countersuit in 2018 claiming that Huawei engaged in a multiyear conspiracy to steal their solid-state drive storage technology, which included the assistance of a Chinese university, according to the Wall Street Journal

In a pretrial hearing last month, CNEX attorneys alleged that Mr. Xu directed a Huawei engineer to analyze CNEX’s technical information.

CNEX said the engineer met with CNEX officials in June 2016, posing as a potential customer to obtain trade secret information, according to a transcript of the April 17 hearing, which was conducted by the court via teleconference. Afterward, the engineer produced a report about CNEX’s technology and submitted it to a competitive-intelligence database maintained by HiSilicon, Huawei’s chip-development unit, according to a CNEX lawyer who cited the engineer’s deposition, the transcript shows.

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