Earlier this week, the Delhi High Court passed an injunction ordering Xiaomi to stop importing and selling smartphones in India. Late last night in a letter addressed to Indian buyers, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra confirmed that the company had suspended sales in India.
Barra reiterated the company’s commitment to its Indian users, but admitted that they “have been forced to suspend sales in India until further notice.” The company is now assessing its legal options to restart its operations in the country. The court order is regarding a patent infringement case involving Ericsson’s standard essential patents (SEP). The company and its retail partner Flipkart have been asked to stop selling smartphones till February 5, which is when the court is scheduled to hear Ericsson’s patent infringement petition again.
Barra’s statement for Indian users follows.
** A Letter to Indian Mi Fans **
Dear Mi fans,
We have been committed to continue our sales of Redmi Note and Redmi 1S devices in India. In the last 2 days alone, we received about 150,000 registrations for Redmi Note on Flipkart and the momentum has been terrific.
However, 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.
Our sincere apologies to all Indian Mi fans! Please rest assured that we’re doing all we can to revert the situation. We have greatly enjoyed our journey with you in India over the last 5 months and we firmly intend to continue it!
Stay tuned for more information.
(on behalf of the Mi India team)
The patent infringement issue in question is the similar to what Ericsson is fighting against the likes of Micromax and Intex. Last month, the Delhi HC ordered Micromax to pay royalties to Ericsson, which amounts to one percent of the selling price of Micromax’s devices. This interim order is applicable till December 31, 2015, when the court has ordered to the end the trial.
Ericsson too has issued a statement regarding this issue to Business Insider.
Ericsson’s commitment to the global support of technology and innovation is undisputed. 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 three 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.
To continue investing in research and enabling the development of new ideas, new standards and new platforms to the industry, we must obtain a fair return on our R&D investments. We look forward to working with Xiaomi to reach a mutually fair and reasonable conclusion, just as we do with all of our licensees.
Since this is an ongoing legal process we do not have any more comments on this matter at the moment.