back to article Ex-Huawei man claims Chinese giant is suing his startup to 'surpass' US tech dominance

CNEX Labs co-founder and CTO Yiren Ronnie Huang have accused Huawei and its subsidiary Futurewei of engaging in industrial espionage to steal CNEX's SSD intellectual property. The claim was made in a Texas court filing earlier this week in response to Huawei suing CNEX Labs and Huang for IP theft, racketeering and employee …

  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    I don't really care if he did it or not. It is a tiny fraction of the intellectual property theft that China and Chinese companies do on a daily basis. I don't see why Chinese companies should be allowed to hold any patents outside of China while China itself basically ignores ownership of intellectual property by anyone outside of China.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      while China itself basically ignores ownership of intellectual property by anyone outside of China

      All developing nations have done this - including the USA. Are you asserting that the practices of all previous nations and empires are now disallowed? And if so, on what basis?

      I don't see why Chinese companies should be allowed to hold any patents outside of China

      So on the same logic the US (having ignored other nations' IP, should have its IP invalidated?

      Mmmmm.

  2. Cuddles Silver badge

    Employee poaching?

    "Huawei also claimed Huang unlawfully solicited Huawei employees to join CNEX."

    Is this even a real thing? I understand that companies sometimes come to agreements with each other and/or their employees not to actively recruit each others' staff or not to work for competing companies for some time after leaving. But that's simply a contract arrangement and any court action would be simply about breach of contract; the actual law doesn't get involved at all. The idea that it could be illegal merely to offer a job to someone sounds absurd on the face of it.

    In fact, the whole thing sounds pretty ridiculous. Huawei want to have all the patents Huang is ever involved in because apparently he signed a contract saying they could. Which sounds like a rather silly contract for him to have signed, but I guess it's possible and they could have a leg to stand on in that regard. But what the hell does that have to do with IP theft and racketeering? Again, it's simply a matter of a contract between two parties and whether one of them is in breach of it. It sounds like quite a complicated case, since they're not actually his patents and a contract he signed is not necessarily binding on the company that holds them, but at no point does there appear to be any suggestion of actual illegal activity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Employee poaching?

      In the US, who knows?

      In the UK, non-competes that people put in your employment contract are worthless and can be pretty much ignored - your freedom to work trumps it. However, if two companies get... agitated and start poaching and suing each other, the aggrieved company may get a high court injunction against the other company to stop them from hiring employees from the other company - current $JOB has one against $BIG_COMPETITOR, who kept hiring our sales people to get them to ring their clients. We can enforce against $BIG_COMPETITOR if they do it again.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Employee poaching?

      "The idea that it could be illegal merely to offer a job to someone sounds absurd on the face of it."

      Some companies regard the knowledge and experience you gain whilst working for that company as the property of that company. Say you know nothing about radio physics and a company hires you and trains you to develop radio devices, everything you learn about radio physics is that companies property and you cannot use it at any other company in the future.

      So if a company hire that person because of knowledge they have learnt at previous job then they are breaking the law by violating that company's IPs.

      You can put a lot of shit into US employment contracts that you wouldn't be able to in the UK.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Employee poaching?

        > Some companies regard the knowledge and experience you gain whilst working for that company as the property of that company. Say you know nothing about radio physics and a company hires you and trains you to develop radio devices, everything you learn about radio physics is that companies property and you cannot use it at any other company in the future.

        Hmm - learning laws of nature and other public pieces of information? Probably not, although you should not be able to take course materials with you when you leave.

        Learning proprietary methods/designs/algorithms developed for your employers products - well, they might be in your head, but it's protected information that you shouldn't have a right to disseminate.

        After that, it's a tricky minefield. You may be asked to develop a competing product, in which case you may make design decisions that are influenced by the design work you did at a previous employer - perhaps without doing the work that justifies that decision (e.g. here are 2 ways of doing something, but I know from previous work that the first one is not very accurate, or costs a boat load). That seems like a murky area.

        Saying that, the case as it stands should be simple to resolve by examining the legality of the clauses in the contract, and the dates on the patent filings.

        But Huawei have lots of form for nicking IPR (not that that gives a free pass for nicking their IPR)

      2. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Employee poaching?

        And I regard the vacuum of deep space as the only appropriate location for asshats who try to "own" your acquired experience. It may or may not be quite legal to pull it off, mind you - I wouldn't know; but if it is, it damn well shouldn't be.

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: Employee poaching?

          Employment contracts in the US are very disturbing.

          Singer Kesha accused her producer of raping her and tried to terminate her contract on those grounds. Unfortunately for her the contract contained a clause states that rape or abuse were not grounds for termination of the contract, the judge not only ruled that she was required to continue to produce the agreed number of singles as stated in the contract (or pay them a lot of money for breach of contract) but that she also couldn't get a restraining order against her producer because she was required to continue working with him.

        2. I3N
          Pint

          Re: Employee poaching?

          Perfected IP to be poached by a**hats for their dumb a**hats ...

          https://twitter.com/tech_gaming/status/1053113356733698050

          modified rant!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chinese Company Accuses Other Chinese Company of IP Theft

    This reminds me of the time that Holly re-read all of Agatha Christie's novels: "Hercule Poirot just stepped off the steaming train... and if you want my opinion, I think they all did it."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a former employee, he knew the Huawei national allegiance and approach to IP. He's not going to be popular back home saying it in public.

  5. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

    Occupational Crips and Bloods

    One does not just get to work somewhere else, in the same occupation.

    That's life in the silicon hood.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019