Xiaomi’s Banned from Importing and Selling Handsets in India Upon Alleged Infringement of Ericcson’s SEPs
As shocking as this may sound, but the fact is that the Delhi High Court has reportedly banned (with an ex parte injunction order) Xiaomi from importing and selling its handsets in India. This ban was the result of allegations put up by Ericsson which state that Xiaomi infringed its SEPs. The Delhi High Court had to take this step only when Xiaomi failed to respond to any of Ericsson’s missives. Even Flipkart was dragged into this mess with the online store being implicated in the case owing to its involvement in the sale of Xiaomi’s handsets.
The ex parte injunction specifically relates to the importing and selling of devices that directly infringe the SEPs of Ericcson. It is not certain that all devices would be affected, but it would definitely affect the market share of the company in India. Over the past few months, Xiaomi has taken India by storm with its low-cost-high-feature smartphones. The devices had opened up a new market altogether where users from across the country were literally fighting it out to lay their hands on a Xiaomi device. Such was the scene of a regular flash sale conducted by Flipkart for the sale of Xiaomi’s devices.
In an emailed statement to NDTV Gadgets, Xiaomi India Head, Manu Jain, responded to the Delhi High Court Injunction. He wrote, “While we haven’t received an official notice from the Delhi High Court, our legal team is currently evaluating the situation based on the information we have.India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with Indian laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably.”
This is not the first time that Ericsson has moved an allegation against a smartphone manufacturer over possible infringement of its SEPs. Last year, Ericcson moved a litigation against Micromax over SEP infringement. Micromax had reported lashed out by stating that Ericsson was using its dominant position for forcefully imposing higher royalty on the patented GSM technology and components. The company had been assured by the Competition Commission of India that the matter would be “looked into”.
As of now, the Delhi High Court has explicitly directed the custom officials (in accordance with the IPS Rules) to stop any imports made by Xiaomi. Moreover, the firm’s offices would be checked in order to ensure compliance of the court’s orders. Does this signal the end of one of the most influential and successful smartphone brands in India? Only time will reveal it.
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