U.S. Court Names Hytera Employees Charged in Alleged Motorola Trade-Secret Theft

An unsealed document revealed the names of seven individuals who allegedly stole trade secrets from Motorola

Walkie-talkies at a Motorola Solutions Inc. office in Poland in February.

Photo: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/Reuters

Several Hytera Inc. employees, including a senior vice president, plotted to steal proprietary technology from their former employer, Motorola Solutions Inc., the Federal Bureau of Investigations alleged in best casino sites 0ly unsealed court documents that provide detail on the sprawling trade-secret-theft case.

An affidavit submitted by the FBI and made public this week in Chicago federal court named seven Hytera employees accused of involvement in a scheme to steal technology used to make digital walkie-talkie devices.

U.S. prosecutors in February announced criminal charges against Shenzhen, China-based telecommunications company Hytera.

The alleged scheme involved some Motorola employees, recruited by Hytera to earn more money, stealing proprietary technology as they departed their old jobs.

One of the employees charged in the case, Samuel Chia Han Siong, director of software engineering at Hytera, openly discussed a “shopping list” of Motorola hardware he allegedly wanted a co-conspirator to pilfer from confidential Motorola files, according to the court document.

Gee Siong Kok, a senior vice president who headed Hytera’s walkie-talkie division and eventually joined the company’s board, was also among those charged. He allegedly left a senior engineering role at Motorola and went to Hytera for a 78% wage increase and stock options worth 22-times his annual salary. He then allegedly recruited several other of the best casino sites 0ly charged individuals to join him at Hytera.

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Digital mobile radios, as digital walkie-talkies are also called, are used by taxis, police departments, airports and other businesses that require two-way communication. They became more sought after following a U.S. government directive in 2008 that mandated an eventual move away from less sophisticated analog technology in a bid to free up bandwidth.

Chicago-based Motorola and Hytera both wanted to compete in the space. Motorola in 2017 filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Hytera had stolen its secrets.

The more than 100-page unsealed criminal complaint quoted from a series of email and chat exchanges among the charged employees. In one 2008 email, for example, Gee Siong Kok complained about difficulties in trying to build up Hytera’s “rubbish” systems and later suggested they “reuse” Motorola technology, according to the FBI.

The complaint also outlines several engineers’ efforts to mislead Motorola in connection with their departures. For example, Yih Tzye Kok, an assistant research director at Hytera, began working for the company during a leave of absence from Motorola and when he eventually left Motorola completely, he gave “family issues” as his rationale, according to the FBI. Yih Tzye Kok was also charged.

All the individuals charged worked at Motorola and then left for jobs at Hytera. Also charged were Phaik Ee Ooi, a software engineer; Wong Kiat Hoe, an electronics engineer; Yu Kok Hoong, technical staff at Hytera; and Chua Siew Wei, also technical staff at Hytera.

A Hytera spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the case or on the current employment status of the charged employees.

The defendants couldn’t be reached for comment. Recent court records say they haven’t been arrested and they have no listed U.S. counsel.

Of those that maintain accounts on the professional social network LinkedIn, profiles for Gee Siong Kok and Wong Kiat Hoe state that they are still employed at Hytera. Phaik Ee Ooi said on LinkedIn that she works for a Shenzhen-based robotics company.

Motorola won a civil judgment in a trade-secret-theft and copyright infringement case against Hytera in February 2020, and was awarded $764.6 million. That amount was reduced to $543.7 million last year. Hytera has appealed.

Write to Richard Vanderford at richard.vanderford@morphing-aircraft.com

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