Briefing: Huawei found to have stolen trade secrets, loses US chip firm lawsuit

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Huawei Technologies loses trade secrets case against U.S. chip designer – Reuters

What happened: A court in Texas ruled against Huawei’s claim that US semiconductor company CNEX Labs had stolen Huawei trade secrets. The Shenzhen-based telecom equipment giant had accused the Microsoft- and Intel-backed chip designer of stealing intellectual property (IP) related to memory control technology and poaching employees. CNEX, whose co-founder is a former Huawei employee, responded with a counter suit, claiming that Huawei had posed as a customer to obtain confidential information and that the lawsuit was an attempt to acquire proprietary technology. The court found that Huawei committed IP theft but did not award damages to CNEX.

Why it’s important: Huawei is a cornerstone of the US-China trade war. One of the Washington’s main grievances with China is that its rise as a global tech powerhouse has been on the back of stolen foreign technology. Two of Huawei’s business units face charges by US prosecutors for allegedly misappropriating robotic and mobile testing technology from cellular provider T-Mobile. Notably, the same judge who oversaw the CNEX lawsuit will see Huawei’s lawsuit against the US government filed in early March to overturn a law which prohibits government agencies from buying its equipment.