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OnePlus faces temporary ban on sales, following Delhi HC order

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The OnePlus One smartphone

After coming to terms with the unsettling Micromax-Cyanogen partnership, Chinese device manufacturer OnePlus is in the soup once again. The Delhi High Court has  restrained OnePlus from selling its phones in India. Readers can access the full copy of the judgement here.

Ahead of the launch of its Yu series of Cyanogen-based smartphones on December 18, Micromax has sought an injunction against OnePlus for selling Cyanogen-OS based phones in India. Micromax had signed a partnership with Cyanogen to become the
exclusive seller of Cyanogen-based smartphones in India. According to Micromax, the launch of the OnePlus One on 2 December violates Micromax’s exclusive rights over Cyanogen OS.

As reported by Livemint, the court has ordered OnePlus “to stop marketing, selling and shipping its OnePlus mobiles in India. It has also been barred from importing smartphones bearing the Cyanogen logo.” However, the reports adds that Amazon.in has been allowed to clear its stock of OnePlus One smartphones.

In a lawsuit filed against OnePlus, Micromax has claimed that “it has incurred major expenses in creating an exclusive brand of Cyanogen-based smartphones in India.” Pointing out at OnePlus, it also added that it would “suffer irreparable harm and loss if the defendants (OnePlus) are permitted to continue with their illegal acts in violation of the agreement between Micromax and Cyanogen.”

Micromax has stated that OnePlus knew that Cyanogen had exclusively partnered with the Indian brand and despite that was selling phones with OS. “Despite such knowledge (about the Micromax-Cyanogen partnership), OnePlus sought to infringe upon such exclusive rights by launching its new brand of handsets, namely, OnePlus One in India on 2nd December, 2014 loaded with Cyanogen’s operating system,” it said in the suit filed against OnePlus.

To support its claims Micromax has even included emails that were exchanged between OnePlus and and Cyanogen executives in early November this year, which highlighted that Cyanogen wanted to terminate the India licence with OnePlus. In one of the emails, Carl Pei the co-founder of
OnePlus wrote to Kirk McMaster, the CEO of Cyanogen saying that there must have been some misunderstanding to which Kirk replied, ” We will be terminating our relationship with one plus. I will get back to you with more details shortly.”

He wrote in a later email, “We will halt support for OnePlus devices immediately…..I am also requesting that oneplus stop using the cyanogen brand in any marketing collateral or communication in India.”
As a compromise Cyanogen’s CEO then told the OnePlus co-founder, “I’d like to reach a compromise here. Ship stock android in India. No mention of Cyanogen in India and I will keep supporting OnePlus for rest of world. And we can continue dialogue for other devices etc.”

OnePlus had earlier explained that customers in India will not get official Cyanogen updates, though they would get OnePlus’ custom ROM which is expected to release this month. Cyanogen also declared that it was committed to its exclusive partnership with Micromax, following which it would not roll out updates to OnePlus One devices sold in India.

The court injunction comes at the same time when Ericsson accused Xiaomi of infringing upon its patents. Following the accusation, the Delhi High Court passed an injunction against Xiaomi barring it from selling devices in India. Xiaomi has however been allowed to sell Qualcomm chipset based devices for now.

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