Ericsson Includes Yu Televentures in Ongoing Patent War with Micromax
Micromax is one of the best Indian handset makers and continues to deliver impressive smartphones for the a low price. They even introduced Hugh Jackman as the brand ambassador for Canvas series, impressing everyone in India. However, when it came to using another company’s patents, Micromax did not give much thought.
Ericsson has approached the court for a second time, this time to stop Yu Televentures, a Micromax subsidiary, from selling their handsets in India. In November 2014, Micromax was asked to pay royalties to Ericsson for using patented technology in their smartphones for which Micromax was to pay one percent of the selling price of of all its devices. The order is applicable till end of this year, 31st December 2015. This means every quarter Micromax will have to forego the profits it had planned to earn through exports.
Sumeet Kumar, Rahul Sharma and Vikas Jain, all CXOs at Micromax, have been issued bailable warrants by the Delhi High Court, in a matter of contempt on its previous order of 2014. Yu Televentures has released a series of Yu phones targeted at youth and challenging high-end phones in terms of features, falling under Micromax’s umbrella in terms of ownership rights.
However, Yu Televentures continues to use the patented technology in all its handsets without owing any royalties to Ericsson, and Micromax comments that it is a separate legal entity and not bound to paying its dues to Ericsson.
Yu Televentures has in the past sold its phones through flash sales to gather enough fan base and recognition like major Chinese smartphones companies, however the phones are readily available online now through open sales.
Micromax owns 99.98% stake in Yu Televentures, thereby also making sure that the phones do not rival each other. Even in case Yu Televentures does not come under Micromax legally, it is still liable to pay royalties to Ericsson for using their patents without consent in the first place. No wonder Micromax has been trying to hush the news for long.
Such cases of patent use across different platforms is not an uncommon thing and lots of foreign players have also been seen violating the laws. A very famous one that comes to my mind is Apple vs Samsung war which is a never ending fight for patent infringement.
While in such cases, it is really difficult to find a solution to petty issues like the smartphone form, but in case of Micromax, the patents being used were for minute but core technologies like 3G, EDGE and GSM which are owned by Ericsson.
We don’t know what route the patent war will take, but we sure will be looking forward to the court hearing on December 15 linked to Yu Televentures involvement in patent infringements. For the same reason, Yu Yutopia will now be launched on 17th of this month.