The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted relief to mobile company OnePlus by lifting the ban imposed on the sales of its mobile phones by a single judge bench on December 16. The Division Bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice R K Gauba has also asked the single bench to hear the petition filed by Micromax against Chinese phonemaker Shenzhen OnePlus Technology afresh, after noting that there was no reason to pass the ad interim injunction.
“Unless the parties were given an opportunity to file their pleadings it was not proper to decide the injunction application finally,” said the court.
The court has now directed Shenzhen and US-based software firm Cyanogen to file their replies on the Micromax application for interim stay, saying the parties needed to be given an opportunity to file their pleadings. The companies have been given two weeks to file their replies.
“In view of the facts noted by us hereinabove, it would not be a case to grant an ad interim injunction, for the reason we were informed that mobile devices launched in India by Micromax are sold at around Rs 8,000 per piece and that by OnePlus at around Rs 22,000 per piece. The consumer of one product is mid-segment and of the other is high-end and thus prima-facie neither competes nor eats into territory of other,” observed the court in its 18 page order.
The single bench had restrained OnePlus from selling its devices in India after Micromax alleged that it was infringing the exclusive rights of Micromax with respect to use of Cyanogen software, a specialised form of Android operating system, and trademark.
Cyanogen, which had a global non-exclusive agreement with Shenzhen OnePlus for use of its software and trademark in 16 nations, excluding China, had said in view of its recent contract with Micromax, it can no longer provide upgrades or enhancement to the OnePlus handsets sold in India.
The US company, which had entered into an agreement with Micromax in September 2014 granting exclusive use of Cyanogen software and trademark in South Asia, had said that this arrangement superseded the one with Shenzhen. OnePlus on the other hand had submitted that since Micromax had “no privity of contract” with it, the Indian company could not have sought an injunction against it. It had also told the court that its version of the Cyanogen operating system (OS) was different from the one that Micromax has an exclusive licence for use in India.
The court also observed that “a proper debate needs to take place at the judicial fora” on all the issues, including features of the software versions available to Micromax and Shenzhen as well as the terms of the agreements of the two companies with Cyanogen.