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Following Nokia's patent dispute, Oppo and OnePlus face widespread sales bans


Following Nokia's patent dispute, Oppo and OnePlus face widespread sales bans

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 08 Aug, 2022

A significant number of disputes between tech companies have been related to patents and licensing fees over the years. A perfect example of this is the Sonos-Google battle. Patents held by Sonos were infringed by certain features on Nest and Home speakers.

The latter removed the associated functionality when it sued Google for licensing money. The networking giant Nokia filed a patent violation lawsuit against Oppo and OnePlus, and both companies lost the appeal, forcing them to withdraw their phones from Germany.

This patent dispute involves 4G technology between Nokia and Oppo and has been going on for quite some time. The Mannheim district court ordered the parties to settle by the end of July, otherwise, Oppo's phones would be banned from sale.

Oppo and OnePlus have been unable to resolve the matter, resulting in a sales ban on their smartphones from August 5 to Munich 1. Our contact at Oppo explained that the problem stems from a 4G cross-licensing agreement with Nokia, where the Finnish giant sought an unreasonable renewal fee and took Oppo to court the next day.

The German website of Oppo has been stripped of all references to its smartphones and related product listings. Despite this, Oppo has released a statement confirming that existing users will still be able to use their devices as usual without any issues.

Furthermore, Wirtschaftswoche reported that the company is not exiting the German market entirely. There will also be a range of other products, such as headphones and related accessories, on sale in the country.

There is no longer any mention of OnePlus' product lineup on the German website. Third-party shops and retailers like Amazon may still be selling Oppo and OnePlus smartphones for the time being, but that's only for a limited time.

Our contact at Oppo confirmed that all parties are working together to resolve the issue. In Germany, the company is estimated to have a 10% share of the smartphone market and ships around two million smartphones per year.

OnePlus and Oppo are reportedly required to pay licensing fees of €2.50 per smartphone sold (via WinFuture). To comply with German laws, the parties would need to enter into a worldwide licensing deal.

The licensing fees would apply not just to German smartphones, but also to smartphones sold worldwide. In the long run, Oppo/OnePlus might prefer to exit the German smartphone market altogether rather than engage in this costly affair.

The patent dispute has so far stretched beyond Germany to France, Finland, Sweden, Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands where Nokia has sued Oppo, OnePlus, and other BBK-owned companies like Realme and Vivo. If the court rules in the company's favor, all BBK-owned phones could be banned across major European countries.

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