T-Mobile Wins ‘Tappy’ Tech Theft Lawsuit Against Huawei

May 19, 2017 - Written By Debra Turner

T-Mobile has won its lawsuit against Huawei who it alleged stole its “Tappy” robot technology. T-Mobile filed the lawsuit back in 2014 with the Seattle District Court. It was claimed that a Huawei engineer had been to the T-Mobile headquarters to secretly gather information and photos about the technology and that another Huawei employee had been spotted on camera taking a piece from the robot. Furthermore, T-Mobile claimed that Huawei had illicitly used parts as well as designs of its top-secret robot for their own phone testing and financial gain. T-Mobile also said that the technology used by Tappy was worth millions of dollars.

At that time Huawei devices were being carried by T-Mobile and the latter said that these actions violated agreements between the companies. Huawei said it would fully cooperate with any court proceedings in a bid to protects its rights and interests. The Tappy robot technology was developed to test devices that T-Mobile planned to offer by mimicking human fingers and their touches. Its aim was to improve diagnostic data for maintenance plans and also reduce expenses involved with device returns. The jury trial finally began last month and the jury ruled in T-Mobile’s favor earlier this week.

In the final stages of the trial, T-Mobile claimed it lost $8.2 million in profits as a result of the ordeal, owing to the company withdrawing Huawei devices from the products it offers. T-Mobile also claimed a “reasonable royalty” amount that would represent the value of the Tappy technology purchase or a license, said to be just under $160 million. Finally, the US carrier also for punitive damages from Huawei that would deter the company from repeating such actions again, with that amount reportedly being around $334 million. Following the jury’s verdict, Huawei’s VP of External Affairs William Plummer said that the company was considering its options but still stood by its defense to T-Mobile’s claims. He pointed out that no punitive damages had been awarded to T-Mobile, and neither was the carrier awarded anything regarding claims about the alleged “theft” of any trade secrets. An update on the dispute is expected to follow later this year.