Oppo and OnePlus have suspended smartphone sales in Germany. Both brands have lost a legal battle against Nokia. The Finnish equipment manufacturer accused the two subsidiaries of BBK Electronics of illegally using its 4G/5G technologies without paying for licenses. We take stock of the situation.
Oppo and OnePlus, two brands owned by the Chinese group BBK Electronics, have suspended their sales of smartphones and connected watches in Germany. The official German store of both brands is now almost completely empty.
On the Oppo side, there is none no more products for sale. The situation is the same in the OnePlus store. There are no more smartphones highlighted. Likewise, the smartwatches section is empty. On the other hand, you can always buy wireless headphones, like Nord Buds, and accessories. For now, smartphones and watches from the two brands are still available from German retailers.
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Oppo and OnePlus suspend smartphone sales in Germany
The withdrawal of Oppo and OnePlus from the German market follows a court decision, our colleagues from WinFuture report. In mid-July, the Finnish equipment manufacturer Nokia won a legal battle against the two manufacturers. The group actually accused Oppo and OnePlus of illegally using their 4G/5G technologies. The two brands have been at odds with Nokia for months.
According to Nokia, the two brands have none not paid the mandatory fees to be able to utilize its network technologies. Oppo and OnePlus smartphones were therefore sold illegally on the German market, without a license to use 4G/5G patents. Justice ruled in favor of Nokia twice. De facto, Oppo and OnePlus have been forced to withdraw their smartphones from sale in Germany.
” The regional court in Mannheim has ruled for the second time, this time on the basis of an essential cellular standard patent, that Oppo uses Nokia’s patented technologies in its smartphones and sells them illegally without a license ” says Nokia in a press release shared by the website NokiaPowerUser.
For the record, Oppo had entered into an agreement with Nokia in 2018. The Chinese brand had agreed to pay the taxes related to the use of patents. The treasure would be €1.50 per unit. Unfortunately, this agreement expired last year. The Finnish group failed to renegotiate a new agreement with the brands. In response, Nokia initiated legal proceedings in several countries in Europe and Asia.
“The court also found that Nokia acted fairly. Despite protracted negotiations, Oppo refused to accept a license on reasonable terms and rejected proposals to arbitrate the dispute.”emphasizes the network equipment supplier.
Other brands owned by BBK, such as Vivo and Realme, is also in Nokia’s sights. The company filed similar complaints against both brands. At the same time, Nokia has signed license agreements valid for several years with many smartphone brands, such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Apple and Lenovo.
No ban in France
In theory, the issue of unpaid patents affects all OnePlus and Oppo smartphones sold worldwide. Concretely, that would be sufficienta court with jurisdiction in another country is based on German justice, so smartphones are banned elsewhere.
The Mannheim court’s decision could serve as an example for other courts. Besides, similar complaints have been filed by Nokia in several other regions in 2021. Last summer, the Finnish company lamented that Oppo rejected several ” fair and reasonable offers”.
So far, however, the ban remains limited to Germany. Contacted by us, the French subsidiary of Oppo wants to be reassuring.
“This situation only concerns Germany. Other markets are not affected. The injunction is limited to a temporary suspension of sales and marketing of the affected products through channels belonging to OPPO, in Germany.”reassures Oppo France.
Oppo also points to Nokia’s position. The Chinese brand believes that the telecommunications specialist has proven itself very quick to take legal action against him.
” As the owner of several 5G patents, OPPO values the role of intellectual property in innovation. We are used 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 unreasonably high renewal fees »sorry about the chinese brand.
Unsurprisingly, Oppo is committed to doing everything possible back to Germany asap In the meantime, the brand’s terminals will continue to work without the slightest problem. Oppo says it is still able to implement Android updates on smartphones in circulation on German territory.
” 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 to operate in Germany. During this time, users can continue to use OPPO products, access after-sales services, receive future OS updates and more. »details Oppo.