Yes You Read it right. The Chinese Manufacturer Xiaomi banned in India. Its a shocking news for all (including me) Mi fans in India. The Delhi High Court granted an ex parte injunction order against Xiaomi for allegedly infringing on Ericsson’s Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India, according to a report by Spicy IP.
Why Xiaomi Banned In India ??
The patents are allegedly related to AMR (Adaptive Multi Rate) technology (that enhances the range of voice frequency over cellular network), 2G (GSM) and 3G (UMTS or WCDMA) technologies and are licensed under FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory Terms). Xiaomi, the Chinese Manufacturer which entered in Indian market with partnership with Flipkart will no longer be able to sell its mobile phones in India.
Following the order, Flipkart will have to stop the sale all the Xiaomi products (including the recently launched RedMi Note). And interestingly, Flipkart has also been implicated in the issue as it is the exclusive retail partner of Xiaomi in India.
Is the ban fair ?
The court granted an ex parte injunction to stop the import and selling of Xiaomi products in the country. What an ex parte injunction means is an order that is passed by the court in a hurried manner hearing only one of the parties involved in a case. Such an order is usually passed by a court when there is an urgency for implementation. According to Shamnad Basheer (Legal/economic analyst, Spicyip.com), such an injunction was not needed, especially when these patents might be the same that are involved in another case that Ericsson had earlier filed against Indian smartphone OEMs Micromax and Intex Mobile. He also notes that granting a hurried ex parte injunction in a case involving patents doesn’t make much sense.
Xiaomi had launched its India operations in July 2014 and the country is the second largest market for the company and also the fastest growing one, as per Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra. The company had sold more than half a million smartphones till October. It sells phones exclusively through online marketplace Flipkart via weekly flash sales in limited numbers. The company has been planned for creating hype and artificial scarcity with claims to go out of stock in a few seconds. It stopped selling its flagship smartphone, Mi 3, after just one month of introducing it selling a 120,000 units.
Whats’s Xiaomi’s Says’s After This
As the court has ordered the custom officials to not allow any imports by Xiaomi, Manu Jain (Head, Xiaomi India) told NDTV that the company hasn’t received any official notice yet, and their legal team is evaluating the situation based on whatever information they have. He also mentioned that Xiaomi is willing to work with Ericsson in order to resolve the issue.
In fact, the judge also directed the customs officials to stop the imports under the IPR Rules, 2007. Moreover, local commissioners too have been appointed to visit Xiaomi India offices to ensure the implementation of the order.
The adverse order in the case seems to have come about after Xiaomi allegedly ignored Ericsson’s repeated communications. As per the report, the patents in the Xiaomi case may also be the same ones which are the subject matters of litigation Ericsson had put up against Micromax, Gionee and Intex.
It’s worth pointing out that Delhi High Court had earlier asked homegrown handset maker Micromax to pay a royalty that amounts up to 1% of the selling price of its devices to Ericsson for using the Swedish equipment maker’s patents on technologies that are essential to manufacture the products.