Why Oppo and OnePlus are suspending smartphone sales in Germany

Following a lawsuit pitting them against Nokia, Oppo and OnePlus have suspended their sales of smartphones and connected watches in Germany. It concerns: the use of 4G and 5G technologies, which are considered illegal. France is not worried.

Oppo Find X5 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner – Frandroid

The news is surprising: Oppo and OnePlus, two brands well established in the European technology landscape, are suspending their sales of smartphones and connected watches in Germany. This is what we learn from an article 9to5Google to take stock of this rather strange situation.

In fact, if you look at the German sites of these two brands – both belonging to the Oplus group – you will see that they are quite empty. On Oppo, for example, there is no longer any section that leads to the presentation of products, their characteristics or even to purchase links. In comparison, the manufacturer’s French website has a ” smartphones ” and another ” Connected objectss” for its connected watches and wireless headphones.

Oppo Germany
Oppo’s German site is pretty empty // Source: Screenshot

On the side of the German OnePlus site, everything still seems normal at first glance. But just search the page of the online store, the smartphone section, to realize that there is nothing on that page.

OnePlus Germany
Unable to find a smartphone available for purchase on the OnePlus Germany website // Source: Screenshot

Same story for connected watches. No worries though a priori on other types of products.

Why do Oppo and OnePlus stop selling smartphones in Germany?

We naturally wonder what could have caused such a situation. The answer must be sought on the side of German justice. In fact, a legal case pitted Nokia against Oppo and OnePlus. As a reminder, the Nokia brand is not only exploited in the smartphone market. It is also and above all a very important group in the telecommunications sector and, among other things, 4G and 5G infrastructures.

However, the Finnish company attacked Oppo and OnePlus, accusing them of using their 4G and 5G technologies illegally. The two manufacturers were thus accused of not having paid the relevant licenses to Nokia, which certainly constitutes an infringement. In other words, it would be theft of intellectual property. However, Oppo had appealed a first decision, but despite this attempt, the Mannheim court confirmed the first sanction.

At the time, a risk of banishment was already threatening sales of Oppo and OnePlus smartphones in Germany. It seems that this risk has become a reality.

Oppo’s response

We have contacted the French subsidiaries of Oppo and OnePlus about this. The first answered us and is mainly justified by pointing the finger at a slightly urban attitude on Nokia’s part.

As the owner of several 5G patents, Oppo values ​​the role of intellectual property in innovation. We are accustomed to establishing cross-licensing agreements with many leading companies and are committed to fostering a healthy intellectual property ecosystem. The day after Oppo and Nokia’s 4G contract expired, Nokia immediately sued after demanding exorbitant renewal fees.

In addition, Oppo claims that it is already taking the necessary steps to return to normal, emphasizing in passing the temporary nature of this suspension.

Our long-term commitment to the German market remains the same and we are proactively working with affected parties to resolve the ongoing issue. Apart from the temporary suspension of sales and marketing of affected products through Oppo-owned channels, Oppo will continue operations in Germany. During this time, users can continue to use Oppo products, access after-sales services, receive future operating system updates and more.

France is not worried

Another legitimate question: is France affected by this temporary suspension of sales? No, Oppo replies. ” Other markets are not affected. The injunction is limited to a temporary suspension of sales and marketing of the affected products through Oppo-owned channels in Germany “.

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