OnePlus-Micromax dispute: HC reserves verdict

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New Delhi | Updated: December 23, 2014 6:50:09 PM

The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on the plea of Chinese phonemaker...

The US company had entered into an agreement with Micromax in September 2014. (Reuters)The US company had entered into an agreement with Micromax in September 2014. (Reuters)

The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on the plea of Chinese phonemaker Shenzhen OnePlus Technology Co Ltd which has challenged the order restraining it from selling its devices in India for allegedly infringing the exclusive rights of Micromax with respect to use of Cyanogen software and trademark.

A bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said it will pronounce orders tomorrow after it concluded hearing arguments of Shenzhen, Micromax and US-based software firm Cyanogen, which sells a specialised form of Android operating system.

The court decided to hear arguments after Gurgaon-based Micromax, represented by senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, refused to agree with Shenzhen’s solution of allowing the Chinese company to sell around 6,00,000 handsets, embedded with Cyanogen software, by March 2015.
Shenzhen said it has imported around 6,00,000 handsets embedded with Cyanogen software.

Cyanogen, which had a global non-exclusive agreement with Shenzhen for use of its software and trademark in 16 nations, excluding China and Taiwan, 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Micromax in September 2014 for exclusive use of Cyanogen software and trademark in South Asia, said this arrangement superseded the one with Shenzhen.

Shenzhen, represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, submitted that since Micromax had “no privity of contract” with it, the Indian company could not have sought an injunction against it.

Micromax should have sued Cyanogen, Sibal contended.

The bench, during the hearing, also queried whether the software firm as well as the two mobile manufacturing companies can co-exist in India in the current situation, but Cyanogen said such co-existence was not possible.

During arguments yesterday, Shenzhen had told the court that its version of the Cyanogen operating system (OS) is different from the one that Micromax has an exclusive licence for use in India.

The Chinese company had said that while its handsets were embedded with the CM11S version of the Cyanogen software, Micromax had a different version, and had added that this point was not submitted before the single judge who had passed the restraining order.

It had also argued that the exclusivity clause in the agreement between Micromax and Cyanogen only means that the US-based firm cannot collaborate with any another mobile maker in India.

It had suggested that it be given three months time to sell its stock as well as develop another software to substitute Cyanogen.

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