Hytera Communications yesterday filed a lawsuit against Motorola Solutions for allegedly infringing upon Hytera’s patented sound-adjustment control technology, according to a press release from the China-based LMR manufacturer that escalates the intellectual-property disputes between the two companies.

“Motorola Solutions is infringing Hytera's sound adjustment control patent,” Andrew Yuan, Hytera's president of North and South America, said in a prepared statement. “Hytera is a leader in innovative technologies, and an adamant advocate of intellectual-property rights. We will look to enforce our patents in court in the U.S. and worldwide.”

Filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, in Cleveland, Ohio, the Hytera lawsuit claims that Motorola Solutions is infringing upon Hytera’s U.S. Patent No. 9,183,846—known as “the ‘846 patent”—that is entitled “Method and Device for Adaptively Adjusting Sound Effect.”

Hytera Communications spokesman Kevin Nolan said the patented technology makes the user of an LMR device easier to hear by automatically adjusting the sound output in a manner that differentiates the voice signal from that of ambient noise, even as the speaker moves “from room to room.”

“So, if the ambient noise is high, the volume adjustment is greater or at higher treble frequencies,” Nolan said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications, noting that the approach is different from noise-cancellation or noise-suppression technologies.

Tom Wineland, director of sales for Hytera Communications America, said the patented sound-adjustment control technology is one of many Hytera innovations.

“Hytera has changed the landscape of the PMR business with its constant innovations, especially after its launch of a digital product line in 2010,” Wineland said in a prepared statement. “Our patented sound adjustment functionality is one of the many innovations that Hytera has incorporated into our digital products, and users in markets around the world have embraced this feature.”

Hytera Communications received the ‘846 patent on Nov. 10, 2015, and discovered the alleged infringement by Motorola Solutions after reviewing Motorola Solutions’ products, according to Nolan.

“Hytera monitors our patent portfolio and our technologies,” Nolan stated in an e-mail response to questions from IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We study Motorola’s products very carefully, and recently, we found that they are infringing our patent.”

Hytera Communications’ litigation follows a series of legal actions taken by Motorola Solutions against Hytera Communications on three continents this year. Motorola Solutions expressed the company’s disagreement with the allegations by Hytera Communications in the following prepared response.

“While Motorola Solutions has not been served with Hytera’s complaint, based on Hytera’s public statements, we believe their complaint is entirely without merit,” according to the Motorola Solutions’ statement. “We believe today’s action is a transparent attempt to shift attention away from Motorola Solutions’ recent global efforts to stop Hytera’s egregious theft of our intellectual property and trade secrets. 

“Motorola Solutions has a long and distinguished track record of innovation, underscored by an extensive portfolio of more than 4,000 patents, and we are committed to vigorously defending our valuable intellectual property. We stand by our pending actions against Hytera in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, the United States International Trade Commission, the Regional Courts of Düsseldorf and Mannheim in Germany, and the Federal Court of Australia, and we will continue to aggressively pursue legal remedies around the world.”