The Regional Court of Mannheim has ruled in favour of Motorola Solutions, in relation to a patent infringement complaint made against Hytera Mobilfunk in Germany.

According to a statement released by Motorola, the German court determined in the first instance that Hytera is infringing the former company’s patent EP 1 139 562 B1, related to “technology that improves the audio performance in two-way handheld radios and car radios.”

The court has subsequently granted an injunction against Hytera GmbH preventing it from using, selling, importing into or distributing the infringing products in Germany. The Mannheim Court also ordered the recall and destruction of the products in question previously sold by Hytera GmbH in Germany, and held Hytera GmbH liable for damages in a declaratory decision.

Speaking of the German verdict, Mark Hacker, general counsel and chief administrative officer of Motorola Solutions, said: “Today’s victory marks another milestone in our global efforts to hold Hytera accountable for its infringement of our patents and to preserve the integrity of our intellectual property.”

Mr. Hacker continued, “Motorola Solutions is the world’s leading provider of two-way radio equipment and systems, and innovation has been integral to our long history of success in a continuously evolving industry.

“We are proud of our growing and industry-leading portfolio of approximately 5,000 patents. The infringement demonstrated by Hytera creates an unfair playing field and threatens the industry’s ability to innovate. We will continue to take all necessary actions to stop Hytera’s illegal conduct and protect our intellectual property.”

The judgment may be appealed by Hytera GmbH, but is immediately enforceable upon Motorola Solutions’ posting of a required security. It is the first ruling against Hytera GmbH related to the EP 1 139 562 B1 patent, which up until this point Motorola has not asserted against Hytera anywhere else in the world.

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Hytera responded: "Hytera disagrees with the finding of the Regional Court of Mannheim. We are reviewing the ruling and considering an appeal. In the meantime, however, Hytera Mobilfunk GmbH will suspend the sale of products that might be affected by the related injunction in Germany. Hytera continues to believe that our products do not infringe and that the patent asserted is invalid."

The spokesperson continued: "Hytera's dealers and customers benefit from a full range of high-quality, high-performance devices with functionality for a wide range of applications. Hytera will continue to develop and deliver innovative, high-quality professional mobile radio solutions to our dealers and customers in Germany and around the world."

In an update from Hytera, the company said that it will appeal the decision, and says that the court's decision is "the first decision in what will be a longer process: it is a "court-of-first-instance" ruling."

"Hytera will seek to invalidate the asserted patent, but we continue to believe our improved noise suppression functionality does not infringe it.

"Further, despite certain media reports, the ruling in the Mannheim Court affects only a limited number of Hytera's radios sold by Hytera Mobilfunk GmbH, and has limited impact on Hytera's operation in Germany. The ruling will have no impact in the US. The patent asserted by our competitor in the Mannheim court is not a patent in the US."

The ruling follows on from a similar decision made by administrative law judge Mary Joan McNamara of the US International Trade Commission (ITC), who also ruled against Hytera earlier this month.



Author: Philip Mason