The Delhi High Court has put a ban on selling and importing of all Xiaomi smartphones in India following a lawsuit filed by Ericsson for allegedly infringing upon its Standard Essential Patents (SEP). Xiaomi devices had taken the Indian phone market by a storm by providing high end smartphones at very low prices but with the ban, Xiaomi got a shock on its really ambitious plans for the Indian market.
Xiaomi reportedly violated eight patents related to 3G, EDGE and AMR, according to SpicyIP, and breached Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) which are subject to FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) terms.
The reason for the lawsuit filed by Ericsson is that the Chinese company had ignored any type of communications with them for almost 3 years. Following this ban, the officials have been asked to visit Xiaomi India’s office to make sure that they don’t sell, advertise or import any of its devices. Xiaomi sells Mi3, Redmi 1S and Redmi Note, however it is not yet clear as to which of these devices would be affected by the ban.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Ericsson described the use of its SEPs as unfair. Here’s what Ericsson had to say in its detailed statement:
Ericsson’s commitment to the global support of technology and innovation is undisputed. It is unfair for Xiaomi to benefit from our substantial R&D investment without paying a reasonable licensee fee for our technology.
After more than 3 years of attempts to engage in a licensing conversation in good faith, for products compliant with the GSM, EDGE, and UMTS/WCDMA standards Xiaomi continues to refuse to respond in any way regarding a fair license to Ericsson’s intellectual property on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Ericsson, as a last resort, had to take legal action.
To continue investing in research and enabling the development of new ideas, new standards and new platforms to the industry, we must obtain a fair return on our R&D investments. We look forward to working with Xiaomi to reach a mutually fair and reasonable conclusion, just as we do with all of our licensees.
What Does This Mean for Xiaomi?
Xiaomi is currently the top player in the Indian market with sales reaching up to 60 million devices this year. As Xiaomi Mi3 and Redmi 1S have been hugely popular in the Indian market, the Chinese company has been planning to launch more phones for the Indian customers.
However, until they take care of the ex parte injuction order granted by Delhi High Court, which bans them for selling, manufacturing, advertising or importing their products, there won’t be much news about Xiaomi’s ambitious plans.
Ericsson claims to have over 35,000 granted patents making it the largest SEPs holder in mobile communications and has also sued Samsung in 2012 for infringing on its patents. It doesn’t end there, as according to reports, Ericsson has been in a legal war with mobile companies like Micromax, Intex and Gionee as well. Micromax is fighting the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Ericsson last year.
As we all know that Xiaomi hit gold by launching its smartphones exclusively on Flipkart which grabbed the whole nation’s attention. The Chinese company’s entry in the Indian market was the 6th most talked about topic in India in 2014.
But this ban will surely provide a halt to the plans that the smartphone maker had for the Indian market. What do you think about the Delhi High Court’s order to ban Xiaomi handsets in India? Do let us know!