Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has been banned from importing and selling its smartphones in India after Ericsson was granted an injunction.
Xiaomi, the up-and-coming Chinese company, which was the third biggest smartphone maker in the world in the third quarter of 2014, has had to temporarily stop selling its smartphones in India after a New Dehli court granted Ericsson an ex parte injunction against the Chinese company, after Xiaomi failed to respond to requests for royalties.
The patents in question are what are known as standard essential patents which Ericsson has to licence to all manufacturers under a free, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis. The Dehli High Court decision was first reported by Spicy IP which points out that officials in India have been directed to visit Xiaomi offices to make sure the injunction is being complied with.
Ericsson said that Xiaomi's use of its patents in the company smartphones was "unfair" telling Tech Crunch:
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.
It is unclear it the injunction is against some or all of the phones Xiaomi sells in India. The company currently sells the Mi3, Redmi and Redmi Note phablet in the country.
The Chinese company has also responded to the news, saying it has not heard from the Indian court yet but it is open to beginning talks with Ericsson to resolve the issue.
We haven't received an official note from the Delhi High Court. However, 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 India laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably.
Xiaomi will be keen to clear up this problem as soon as possible as India is a hugely important market for the new company, which currently only sells its products in a handful of countries outside its home territory of China.
The company is widely expected to launch its smartphones in western countries at some point in 2015.