Within a fortnight of making its India debut, Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has been banned by the Delhi High Court from marketing, selling and shipping its smartphones in the country. The company has been instructed to refrain from shipping any stock bearing the mark 'Cyanogen' in India, according to a Live Mint report.
The temporary injunction was secured by home grown handset and tablet manufacturer Micromax, who claimed that by selling its smartphones in the country, OnePlus would be infringing the exclusive rights Micromax had acquired by an 'ambient services and application distributions agreement' with US-based Cyanogen Inc.
The report further added that Micromax claimed it had 'incurred major expenses for creation of a brand exclusivity for providing to Indian customers mobile phones with Cyanogen operating systems' and 'it would suffer irreparable harm and loss if the defendants (OnePlus) are permitted to continue with their illegal acts in violation of the agreement between Micromax and Cyanogen'.
In response, OnePlus mentioned that Cyanogen had only informed it about the termination of their agreement a few weeks before its launch in the country.
However, the court has allowed the company to clear its stock. OnePlus had finally made its India debut with the launch of its flagship smartphone 'One' on December 2, 2014.
Similar to its global sales model, the company was offering the smartphone on an invite-only basis in India exclusively on e-commerce site Amazon.in for Rs 21,999. In the country, OnePlus has tied up with HCL Care to offer after-sales services for the smartphone in 20 cities. Earlier this month, the company had appointed Vikas Agarwal as the general manager of OnePlus India.
The injunction comes as a big blow for OnePlus, which was expecting India to become its biggest market in the next few months. At present, China is the biggest market for OnePlus. "In the next few months, we expect India to be our biggest market, it will overtake China," Agarwal had said at the time.
Last month, Micromax had entered into a strategic partnership with Cyanogen Inc., the makers of the Cyanogen mobile operating system, to launch a new sub brand. Called 'YU', the brand will focus on working with various companies to build a layer of services into the operating system itself.
The company has also set up YU Televentures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Micromax Informatics, to market the brand 'YU' through a 'direct-to-consumer' model. What this basically means is that the products will only be sold online. The first device under the new brand is scheduled to launch in India later this month.
Cyanogen Inc. is the company behind CyanogenMod, an open source operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, based on the Android mobile platform. The OS is known for delivering a number of software advancements that optimise performance, customisation, security, and privacy features on mobile devices (at least that is what the company claims).
Earlier this month, Delhi HC had granted an ex parte injunction order against Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi for infringement of Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson's patents. The order forbids the company from manufacturing, importing, advertising, and selling the devices that infringe the Standard, Essential Patents (SEPs) in question.
Within a week of this, the court permitted the company to sell and import Qualcomm chipset-based (a licensee of Ericsson) handsets in the country till Jan 8, 2015. The company has also been told to deposit Rs 100 for every device it has sold in India or sells till January 5.