Telecom equipment maker Motorola Inc. is accusing Chinese rival Huawei of stealing trade secrets with the help of former Motorola engineers.
Huawei denies the allegations, calling them utterly without merit.
Motorola has amended a 2008 lawsuit against those former workers to include Huawei as the recipient of illegally obtained, proprietary information about products in development. Motorola made the latest move last Friday in an Illinois court.
The news came as Motorola is selling its wireless infrastructure assets to Nokia Siemens Networks and as Huawei tries to make inroads into the United States. Skeptical observers say Motorola is acting out of desperation the company is, after all, struggling against stronger competitors; it will split into two separate, publicly traded companies early next year as it tries to come up with a more effective business model.
Huawei has come under fire before from other companies. Cisco several years ago sued Huawei for copying its routers. The case finally settled but not before shedding an embarrassing light on Huawei, which has been trying to escape the perception that it, as well as other China-based firms, undercuts incumbents by taking their ideas and selling them for less money.