Xiaomi has announced it will suspend the sale of its smartphones in India until further notice from the Delhi High Court.
The Delhi High Court has barred the assembling, import and sale of Xiaomi devices in India after Ericsson accused the company of infringement on its patents. It has also directed customs authorities to prevent the import of Xiaomi phones that infringe the patents of Ericsson.
Following the court order, Xiaomi Vice President, Hugo Barra wrote a statement on Facebook saying ” 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.”
This means that, unless the company reaches a settlement with Ericsson in court, its current devices Redmi Note and Redmi 1s won’t be going on sale via Flipkart.
Hugo Barra said that Xiaomi received about 150,000 registrations for Redmi Note on Flipkart in two days alone. However, Barra did not disclose much in the statement. There’s also no word on whether those who placed their order will receive their phones or not.
Within five months of launching in India, Xiaomi has become a top player in the mobile market, overtaking several handset manufacturers that have been in the market for much longer. India is one of the biggest markets for Xiaomi, second after its home country China and the Delhi High Court’s judgement will hugely impact them.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Ericsson said that it had had to take legal action against Xiaomi, as the latter refused to respond regarding Ericsson’s intellectual property for three years. It states, “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.”
But now, following the ban on its devices, Xiaomi has shown its willingness to have talks with Ericsson. In a statement provided to TechCrunch it said, “India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with India laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably.”
Xiaomi has been barred from selling its devices in India until February 2015. During this period, Ericsson may negotiate royalties over its patents with Xiaomi in the same way it has handled the issue with other smartphone manufacturers. Until then, there won’t be any flash sales of Xiaomi devices carried out on Flipkart.