Apr 20, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Trade Secrets Case: T-Mobile Wins $4.8M Against Huawei

May 24, 2017 01:59 AM EDT

World Intellectual Property Organization defines Trade Secret as any information that is crucial for the company and gives it a competitive advantage over others. If any such information is in hands of others that can threaten the existence of the company is known to be violating the Trade Secrets as per law. There are provisions that protect such confidential information from going into wrong hands.

In 2014, T-Mobile filed a lawsuit against Huawei claiming that they misappropriated trade secrets of T-Mobile. They claimed that two employees of Huawei were trying to spy on a robot specifically built to test smartphones. The name of the robot was "Tappy", which had human-like fingers that could move swiftly. At that time Huawei supplied smartphones to T-Mobile. Due to this incident, Phys.org says that T-Mobile faces losses worth millions of dollars and had to look for new suppliers.

T-Mobile further claimed that the Chinese smartphone maker allegedly used the secret information for the benefit of the company by improving its own robot's functions. Huawei agreed to the fault of the two employees and fired them as a further action. They refused to any other allegation of misusage of information. Moreover, according to Huawei Global, in 2007, well ahead of others, Huawei had built a robot arm for testing smartphones in a way that humans would smartphones. They would then monitors the results and do further research.

The Jury's verdict for this case is that T- Mobile be awarded $4.8 million as damages for the breach of the supplier contract. The Jury ruled out any payments to be made by Huawei with regard to stealing trade secrets. No punitive damages were awarded because Huawei's act was not considered having malicious intentions. Only a specific division, Metro PCS, related to discounts was breached. Adding to it, the jury said that there was a trade secret prohibition in the supplier contract, which was not violated by Huawei.

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