December 15, 2014 by Abhay
The Case: Xiaomi Banned in India
What happened: The Delhi high court has passed an order against Xiaomi Inc., which prevents it from selling phones in India. The phones are now out of stock on Flipkart.
Why it happened: Ericsson, the Swedish multinational, filed a case against Xiaomi for violating eight mobile phone patents relating to the technology standards 3G, EDGE and AMR.
As per a post published on hindustantimes.com – Ericsson, which was one of the leading mobile handset makers in the world at some point, holds over 35,000 standard-essential mobile communication patents, including those that cover 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. Every time someone uses these or any one of the 35,000 technologies that Ericsson’s has patented, the company gets a licensing royalty. If you want make a mobile handset, chances are high that you’ll be paying Ericsson some money to license patents for some crucial features (like data transfer over 3G).
According to Ericsson, it had been discussing the matter with Xiaomi for over three years and was forced to explore the legal route due to Xiaomi’s non-compliance.
What now: This order prevents Xiaomi from advertising, manufacturing and importing devices that infringe upon the patents in question. Flipkart, Xiaomi’s exclusive e-commerce partner in India, has been ordered to stop selling the handsets as well.
What Ericsson has to say?
“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.
Since this is an ongoing legal process we do not have any more comments on this matter at the moment.”
What Xiaomi has to say?
A message from Hugo Barra in a public post on Facebook:
“We have been committed to continue our sales of Redmi Note and Redmi 1S devices in India. In the last 2 days alone, we received about 150,000 registrations for Redmi Note on Flipkart and the momentum has been terrific.
However, we have been forced to suspend sales in India until further notice due to an order passed by the Delhi High Court. As a law abiding company, we are investigating the matter carefully and assessing our legal options.
Our sincere apologies to all Indian Mi fans! Please rest assured that we’re doing all we can to revert the situation. We have greatly enjoyed our journey with you in India over the last 5 months and we firmly intend to continue it!
Stay tuned for more information.”
This is not the first time Ericsson has filed a case for patent infringement. A similar case was filed on Micromax, which still continues to sell its devices in the Indian market.
The next date of hearing the case in court in February 5 2014, and we hope the matter is resolved till then. India being the second largest market for Xiaomi after China and it’s devices being one of the most popular in India, Delhi High Court’s judgement will hugely impact them.
Q: I am a Xiaomi user, will i be affected?
A: Currently, no news has been released for current users. The service of the device is still intact.
Q: What about other Mi products?
A: As this ban is only on mobile phones, Xiaomi products likes power banks, covers and accessories are still available for sale. You can still buy Xiaomi power bank from these links on Flipkart:
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