updated 05:45 pm EST, Thu November 17, 2011
Motorola accused of deliberate code theft
Lemko late Wednesday sued Motorola for purportedly stealing its source code. The lawsuit accused Motorola of hiring away an engineer who created geolocation code for cellphones, only to copy the code and send it out to Motorola's Chinese offices to "conceal" it by using it. Motorola allegedly even acknowledged the code existed on its server, only to delete it and hide evidence.
At least one phone for Sprint was tested with the code, Lemko claimed.
Lemko called the alleged theft "malicious" for the apparent knowledge that it had taken the code and then tried to hide it. The firm also suggested that it might try to block Google's buyout of Motorola, calling it an "illegal sale" on Motorola's part that would hand over the code to yet another company.
Neither Motorola nor Google has commented on the lawsuit.
If true, the claim could have an impact on Google's ability to close the deal even without any deliberate efforts from Lemko. Google is already facing a lawsuit from Oracle over allegedly taking Java code and wouldn't be helped in getting approval from the government if its intended acquisition was facing similar accusations.
Motorola has had numerous problems surrounding its geolocation code. It once tried to use Skyhook's services but was forced to stop by Google, which wanted to use its own Android geolocation engine and help scrape anonymous location data from users. Motorola agreed, and to date is believed to use Google's method in phones as recent as the Droid RAZR.