Motorola Sues Ex-Employees over Removal of Trade Secrets Motorola Sues Four Former Employees

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 24, 2008 | Go to article overview

Motorola Sues Ex-Employees over Removal of Trade Secrets Motorola Sues Four Former Employees


Byline: Amie Shak ashak@dailyherald.com

Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. named four former software engineers employed at its Libertyville and Schaumburg offices in a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleging the theft of $600 million in trade secrets with plans to take them to China, officials said.

Hanjuan Jin, 37, of Schaumburg was indicted by a federal grand jury in April on three counts of theft of trade secrets and is facing charges of computer fraud and abuse, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty in the lawsuit.

Federal authorities said U.S. customs agents seized sensitive proprietary information from Jin as she attempted to board a flight to China on Feb. 28, 2007, at OHare International Airport. That included more than 1,000 documents, both electronic and paper, belonging to Motorola. Authorities said they also found $30,000 in her luggage.

The release of the classified engineering information on three computer networking products would have cost Motorola $600 million over the next three years, officials said.

Three other former Motorola employees were named in the lawsuit Xiaohua Wu, of 21878 North Tall Hills Drive, Kildeer; Xuefeng Bai of 2444 Palazzo Court, Buffalo Grove; and Xiaohong Sheng of 875 Westmoreland Drive, Apt. 7, Vernon Hills were accused of computer fraud and abuse, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty in the lawsuit. Bai and Sheng worked at Motorolas Libertyville office; Wu and Jin worked at the Schaumburg office.

Shaowei Pan of Kildeer, chief technology officer of Motorola competitor Lemko Corp., 1700 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, and spouse of Wu, is accused of computer fraud and abuse and misappropriation of trade secrets in the lawsuit.

According to authorities, Jin, a U.S. citizen born in China, began working for Motorola in 1998. The firm granted her medical leave in February 2006. Later that year without telling Motorola she began working for a Chinese company in telecommunications software development, court documents state.

Jin then notified Motorola on Feb. 23, 2007, that she was ready to return to work and the next day purchased a one-way ticket for China, leaving four days later, authorities said. Two days before the flight, Jin returned to Motorola and downloaded more than 200 technical documents from the firms secure internal computer network and removed other classified materials from the offices, authorities said.

The next day she e-mailed Motorola a resignation letter but later that evening continued downloading confidential documents, court documents state.

Motorola requested all information in defendants possession to be turned over and compensatory damages over $5,000 in the lawsuit.

Representatives for the defendants were not available late Tuesday.

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Motorola Sues Ex-Employees over Removal of Trade Secrets Motorola Sues Four Former Employees
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