China's smartmobe darling Xiaomi locked out of India

Patent spat sees Ericsson take on World+Dog on the subcontinent

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Simmering tensions over smartphone patents in India are heating up, with a court smacking down Chinese mobe-maker Xiaomi following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson.

The Delhi High Court granted Ericsson an ex parte injunction against the Chinese vendor, according to intellectual property blog Spicy IP, because Xiaomi had failed to respond to its approaches seeking royalties.

The patents in question are standards-essential patents, meaning Ericsson has committed to grant a licence to use its technology on a FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) basis.

The order instructs Xiaomi not to advertise, manufacture or import the infringing phones to India, and Indian customs officials have been instructed to prevent imports.

According to India Today, Xiaomi's core products in the country are the RedMi and RedMi Note, which are imported via local online retailer Flipkart.

As Spicy IP notes, the smartphone patent wars have bubbled along for more than a year. In 2013, Ericsson took action against Indian telcos Micromax and Intex, and smartphone maker Gionee: “While Ericsson has largely favourable orders against Micromax and Gionee, it has, as yet, not been successful in restraining Intex,” the blog notes.

Micromax was ordered to pay royalties under an interim order, and its return salvo was to ask the country's competition regulator to investigate Ericsson over its FRAND licensing practises. ®

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