Qualcomm and Xiaomi have announced a patent licensing agreement that would cover Qualcomm’s 3G, 4G patents including including 3-mode (LTE-TDD, TD-SCDMA and GSM), complete devices. The agreement is a big deal for Qualcomm, which has been struggling with Chinese brands to enter into patent licensing agreements and had to pay a $975 million fine to the Chinese government in an anti-trust case. However, this could be a bigger deal for Xiaomi as the agreement would finally pave way for the smartphone maker to be able to sell its entire range of smartphones in India.
Xiaomi has been fighting a patent infringement case with Ericsson in India for smartphones running on Mediatek chipsets for infringing its Standard Essential Patents (SEP). As a part of the ongoing case, the Delhi High Court had banned Xiaomi from importing smartphones that run on non-Qualcomm chipsets till the time the patent infringement lawsuit isn’t resolved. Ericsson had claimed that Xiaomi was unwilling to negotiate a deal to compensate for its SEP related to its 2G and 3G technology patents.
Now this deal with Qualcomm could potentially remove that roadblock, enabling Xiaomi to import its recently launched smartphones into India, since Qualcomm’s patents could take care of Ericsson’s SEP. Most of Xiaomi’s smartphones launched this year, including its flagship Mi Note as well as the Redmi Note 2, Redmi Note 2 Pro and Redmi Note 3 were launched with Mediatek’s processors.
“A license from Qualcomm will play an important role in helping us bring the newest and most innovative products to our growing customer base,” Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun, said announcing the patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm.
After the launch of the Redmi Note 2, Xiaomi’s India head Manu Jain, had told BGR India that the company was not planning to launch the smartphone in the country. However, armed with the patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm, things could change soon.