Xiaomi Banned In India (For Now!)


Xiaomi has had a meteoric rise in India. While it has brought in the market only three phones till now, its marketing strategy and its flash sales have ensured that the interest remains high for these phones. Besides this, the high specifications at low prices also attract users towards the company.

In fact, Xiaomi’s rise has been phenomenal in India. Hence, it is almost filmy, that a problem should have come by now. Finally, it has come in the form of Delhi High Court, which has banned the sale of Xiaomi phones in the country.

This happened because Ericsson has sued Xiaomi for infringement of Standard Essential Patents (SEP). Delhi high court has granted an ex parte injunction against Chinese operator Xiaomi for infringement of these patents.

Xiaomi Logo

This essentially means that Xiaomi can’t sell, advertise, manufacture or import these devices in India. Apparently, this injunction was granted because Xiaomi failed to respond to Ericsson’s queries and communications regarding the issue.

According to Manu Kumar Jain, Head, Xiaomi India:

“We haven’t received an official notice 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 Indian laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably.”

My Take

First thing I believe is that the action taken by High Court is less about the crime and more about the criminal. I think High Court wants to set a precedence here so that in future companies are less callous.

Second, patent infringement is a relatively new arena in India. We are still trying to understand the seriousness of the issue and how to react to these situations. For example, a fine could have easily been implemented instead of a blanket ban.

Third, I do not think that this is a long-term ban. It is mostly implemented to shake the company and it should be taken off soon enough.

Besides this, the company (Xiaomi) itself will not want to waste a single day on this. Remember, they cannot even import phones right now. This means their next sale might get postponed or cancelled.

India is too lucrative a market for Xiaomi to let a single of its sale opportunity to pass up. Additionally, right now, we have GOSF and soon after, we will have Christmas and New Year. Xiaomi is not going to sit back and wait for these festivals to pass.

In sum, while the issue itself is important and should be acknowledged and dealt with, Xiaomi and Ericsson will soon shake hands and dust this off.

Xiaomi has no interest in taking on such a fight right now. Ericsson doesn’t benefit from Xiaomi not selling any phones and the court would prefer to quickly get over such a matter.

What do you think?

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