High Court Agrees Cyanogen Was Unfair To Both OnePlus & Micromax. OnePlus Contests Ban
India is one lucrative market no smartphone manufacturer, eCommerce player or biggie in the tech world can afford to leave unexplored. Sounds strange that the very huge numbers making up the country which were once seen as one of its biggest banes have now turned out to be its biggest USP in the recent times. Everyone from Google to Amazon and from Apple to OnePlus is making a beeline for the Indian shores.
Unfazed and undeterred by the recent High Court ban on the import and sales of OnePlus phones in India, Chinese phone maker Shenzhen OnePlus Technology Co. Ltd has made it clear that they will not make a hasty retreat out of the country and will put up a concerted and whole hearted effort to make sure that this huge market does not slip out of its hands. Comes as no surprise that they have hired one of the most prominent lawyers on the country, Kapil Sibal, to take up their case!
The manufacturer had been restrained by Delhi based court following a petition by the Gurgaon based manufacturer Micromax, in which the latter has accused the Chinese company of infringing upon their exclusivity agreement with Cyanogen.
As previously mentioned, a result of this ban, OnePlus will not be allowed to import, market or sell Cyanogen branded smartphones within the Indian borders though the court has allowed the online retailer Amazon.in to clear its stock.
The manufacturer today told the Delhi High Court that the version of Cyanogen operating system (OS) being used by them in their devices is totally different from the one that Micromax has an exclusive license to for use in India.
The Chinese company said that their devices were carrying the CM11S version of the Cyanogen software, while Micromax had an exclusivity license for a different version, and added that this point was not submitted before the single judge who had earlier passed the restraining order.
In addition to the above, the banned manufacturer also reasoned that the exclusivity clause in the agreement between Micromax and US-based software firm Cyanogen only means that Cyanogen cannot collaborate with any another mobile maker in India.
“It does not mean that we cannot do business,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Oneplus, said.
The high profile lawyer also asked the court to give his client a three month period for selling off its stock and for developing another software using which they can replace Cyanogen, a specialized form of the Android operating system.
The bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog observed that Cyanogen was unfair to both OnePlus as well as to Micromax. It was not fair on their part to enter into an exclusive use agreement with the Indian based manufacturer when they already had a non exclusive global arrangement with the Chinese manufacturer for the same.
It is to be noted that OnePlus signed an agreement with Cyanogen for using and distributing their technology anywhere in the world except mainland China in February 2014 after which Micromax signed an exclusive license with them for South Asia.
Not only that, the Chinese juggernaut which has taken the mobile market in the region by storm with its highly affordable and feature laden smartphones says that they had been told about the termination of this agreement just a week before their latest handset’s India launch.
“Your client (Cyanogen) did not show fairness to either Micromax or Shenzhen. If this is how you want to proceed, that is wrong,” the bench said to the counsel for the US firm.
Here are the emails that were exchanged between Kirt McMaster of Cyanogen and Carl Pei of OnePlus that were furnished to show that Cyanogen had blindsided OnePlus, and ended their partnership simply in a one line email that was rude and abrupt!
Who, according to you, should pay the price for Cyanogen deciding to supersede the earlier agreement with OnePlus and going on to give exclusive right to Micromax.
Though a diehard supporter of everything that is “Made in India”, there is no reason the Chinese manufacturer should be made to pay the price for someone else’s misdoings.