In a Texas Courtroom Next Week, Huawei Will Argue It's a Victim of Trade Secret Theft

Huawei Technologies Co. may be fighting allegations around the world that it's stolen technological know-how from other companies, but in a Texas court case the Chinese networking gear maker says it's been the victim of such theft.Huawei claims a former engineer who was developing chips to better store and retrieve data poached workers and stole proprietary information to start a new, competing firm. The former employee, Yiren "Ronnie" Huang, contends it was Huawei that stole from him and is now trying to damage his company, CNEX Labs Inc.A trial on the dispute, scheduled to begin June 3 in Sherman, could shed light on some of the internal workings at China's largest tech company. The lawsuit is the rare instance in which Huawei claims its technology has been stolen by a would-be rival. Huawei is the target of criminal trade secret theft charges by the U.S. government, and of a global effort by the Trump administration to block the company's gear from telecommunications networks.This case, however, is more the type of dispute that's increasingly common in the technology industry, in which a company hires a highly skilled worker only to see the person depart and start a competing business."That is often the tension in every one of these cases," said David Perlson, a lawyer with Quinn Emanuel in San Francisco, who isn't involved in the case. "One side is arguing that 'What you're accusing me of is my run-of-the-mill engineering knowledge and I can't eliminate that from my head.' The burden is to show this isn't just normal engineering knowledge -- this is something you learned while you were here and we kept secret."  Continue reading...

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