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CNEX Labs fights back with IP claim against Huawei

A San Jose-based semi-conductor startup, CNEX Labs has filed court documents that struck back at Chinese telecom company Huawei in their intellectual property (IP) dispute.

Both companies are accusing the other of attempting to steal proprietary information.

Background on the case

The dispute started in 2017 when Huawei sued the startup and one of its co-founders—a former Huawei employee—for stealing its technology and poaching employees.

Huawei is seeking tens of million dollars in damages and the rights to about 30 trade secrets and patents.

Firing back

A year later, the startup has fired back with claims against the tech giant’s alleged plots to steal CNEX Lab’s trade secrets. According to court documents, the founder of the startup accused Huawei of sending an engineer to meet with CNEX Labs as a customer. The engineer allegedly produced a report of the company’s trade secrets.

Furthermore, CNEX Labs accuses the Chinese company of working with a university to obtain a CNEX Labs memory board and use information from the university’s study in their own chip projects.

The trial is set to begin on Monday, June 3rd and is expected to last around three weeks.

Interesting aspects

Huawei has continued to be in the spotlight in the United States. This lawsuit will go on while they challenge to overturn the U.S. ban on their products in another court case.

From an IP standpoint, the case highlights how important it is to have organizational practices in place that protect your IP. In this case, Huawei has a dispute with a former employee who is allegedly using their information and illegally poaching their employees. The case may showcase how (in)effective Huawei’s IP protection measurements are.

The case also shows how muddy IP disputes can be, as both parties claim that the other stole trade secrets from them. It also demonstrates how IP battles can occur between companies of different sizes and nationalities.

Intellectual property disputes can cause companies of any size major headaches and problems. However, working with an attorney to preemptively protect your IP can help quickly solve potential IP issues in your favor.