Xiaomi obtained a partial lift of the injunction banning it to sell smartphones in India, after a Delhi court decided that its Qualcomm-powered devices should not be affected by the ban.
A judge imposed a total ban on imports and sales of Xiaomi devices in India last week, at the request of Swedish telecom giant Ericsson. Ericsson alleged that Xiaomi is refusing to pay licenses for eight of its patents, pertaining to AMR, EDGE, and 3G technologies. Xiaomi was banned to sell any device until the next hearing in the case, scheduled for January 8, 2015.
Xiaomi appealed the decision and, earlier today, convinced a two-judge panel that its devices powered by Qualcomm chips should not be banned, as Qualcomm has licensing agreements with Ericsson in place.
From the devices that Xiaomi sells in India, the Mi3 and the Redmi 1s feature Qualcomm SoCs, while the Redmi Note phablet is powered by a MediaTek SoC. Xiaomi and its exclusive local partner Flipkart will be able to resume sales of the Mi3 and Redmi 1s soon. The Redmi Note will presumably remain banned at least until the January 8 hearing.
Ericsson insists that Xiaomi needs to pay licensing fees for all of its devices, regardless of their processor: “Xiaomi needs a license from Ericsson for all of their phones imported to India, which will be clarified in the upcoming hearing.” In a statement to Bloomberg, the company reiterated its hope to reach a “mutually fair and reasonable” agreement with Xiaomi.
Xiaomi entered India just five months ago, but has already managed to capture a significant portion of the market. The partial reprieve allows it to carry out at least some of its ambitious plans for the country, which Xiaomi officials singled out as the company’s next big target. In a statement to the court, Xiaomi’s lawyers said the company plans to sell 100,000 devices each week in India.