Huawei sued Motorola earlier this week for breach of contract and copyright infringement, while also suing NSN for misappropriation of trade secrets. The Chinese company's position was that Motorola can't sell those assets without reaching some agreement with Motorola via arbitration.
Motorola had agreed to sell its network-equipment business to NSN in July for $1.2 billion. The suit by Huawei effectively blocks that transaction.
The motions in support of the restraining order were filed under seal. The order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois grants Huawei the restraining order, telling Motorola that it cannot disclose any of Huawei's confidential information to NSN. But it also orders Huawei and Motorola to agree to some terms of a protective order.
Huawei's original complaint says it agreed to jointly develop telecommunications equipment with Motorola in 2000, modifying and expanding the agreements with Motorola in subsequent years. Under the joint development deals Motorola is not allowed to disclose any of Huawei's trade secrets or infringe on its intellectual property. Any disputes have to be resolved via arbitration.
Huawei says it developed several technologies to be sold under the Motorola brand, and that Motorola has bought $878 million in intellectual property and technology from Huawei over the last decade.
According to the complaint, when Motorola told Huawei about the sale to NSN in July, and Huawei responded by telling Motorola about its concerns over the transfer of its confidential information. The two companies negotiated, but eventually Huawei decided that arbitration was necessary and it wants to stop the sale of Motorola assets until that process is finished.