A U.S. jury on Wednesday removed California semiconductor designer CNEX Labs of stealing trade secrets and techniques from Chinese electronics titan Huawei Technologies whereas awarding CNEX no damages by itself trade theft claims.
Huawei had sued CNEX in U.S. District Court in Sherman, Texas, for misappropriation of business secrets and techniques involving a memory management technology and for stirring its employees. The jury denied those claims while finding a CNEX founder did not notify the company of his patent filings.
CNEX filed a counter lawsuit, claiming Huawei sought to steal its expertise by acting as a customer and calling the original claims a part of a method by Huawei to acquire others’ secrets and techniques. The jury found Huawei had abused CNEX’s secrets and procedures; however, given no damages.
“It is a win for the rule of law and international standards of ethical corporate conduct,” stated CNEX General Counsel Matthew Gloss. “This case was never about money.”
The USA has effectively outlawed its companies from purchasing Huawei telecommunications gear and barred U.S. firms from doing business with Huawei, claiming the agency poses a threat to national security.
Huawei had lodged a lawsuit to overturn the U.S. sales ban before the same Texas judge who ruled the trade secrets and techniques suit. Two Huawei units individually face charges in a federal court in Seattle of contriving to steal T-Mobile US trade secrets and techniques between 2012 and 2014.
Huawei is reviewing the decision and considering its next strikes, stated Tim Danks, a Huawei vice chairman for risk management.
CNEX co-founder Yiren “Ronnie” Huang, who quit Huawei and co-based CNEX days later, violated his employment contract requiring him to inform the firm of any patents he received within a year of leaving the agency. Nevertheless, it didn’t award Huawei damages.