Huawei has found itself in trouble in the US again, this time as the subject in a lawsuit from T-Mobile, which alleges the Chinese vendor stole technology from its Bellevue, Wash., headquarters.
T-Mobile US Inc. filed suit against Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. last week in Seattle, claiming that its employees snuck into a T-Mobile lab in the 2012-2013 time frame and stole parts of its smartphone testing robot Tappy. [Ed. Note: Wouldn't that be kidnapping?]
The employees then copied operating software and design details, violating confidentiality agreements that both companies signed, T-Mobile alleges of its former supplier. And, it says, Huawei is now using that intel to build its own testing robot.
A Huawei spokesman tells the New York Times that there is some truth to the complaint, but that the two employees involved have been fired. T-Mobile has since stopped working with Huawei, which T-Mobile says could cost it tens of millions of dollars as it moves away from its handsets.
This isn't the first time Huawei has come under fire in the US for unethical practices, and it's certainly not the first time companies have warred over intellectual property. (See Huawei Names US Lead, Reminds Us It's Still Here and NSA Reportedly Spying on Huawei: What's Chinese for 'Ironic'? )
For more on past legal scuffles, here is just a sampling of Light Reading's past coverage:
- AT&T Sues Cox for Infringing Patents
- ZTE Comments on Huawei Lawsuit
- Brocade & A10 Settle
- Euronews: Ericsson Sets Lawyers on Samsung
- Huawei & Motorola End Trade Secrets Dispute
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading