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Motorola sues iPhone sales executive over trade secrets

Michael Fenger, a former Motorola executive now working at Apple, has been sued by his former employer for allegedly revealing trade secrets to Apple.

Motorola is suing a former executive now employed by Apple's iPhone sales division, charging him with the theft of trade secrets.

Bloomberg found the suit, which was filed by Motorola on Thursday in Illinois state court. Michael Fenger is the defendant, and according to the complaint he is now vice president for global iPhone sales after joining Apple in March.

Prior to joining Apple, Fenger was an executive for Motorola in that amorphous MBA-created part of the world known as EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). As such, he was in a position to know almost everything about Motorola's business practices and strategies, and Motorola thinks he is now using that information to harm the company and help Apple, according to Bloomberg.

Apple's rise in the mobile world has come at the same time as Motorola's fall, but it's hard to imagine the two are linked. Motorola's problems are largely of its own making: I'm pretty sure Apple didn't play a role in Motorola's decision to flood the market with cheap handsets and its inability to come up with a successor to the Razr.

Motorola wants $1 million back from stock options awards granted to Fenger and it wants to bar him from working at Apple for two years, retroactive to March, Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said attempts to reach Fenger for comment were unsuccessful.