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India High Court Permits Xiaomi To Send 100K Handsets Home Following Ericsson-Led Infringement Suit
Xiaomi has been given permission to bring 100,000 Redmi Note 3G handsets back to Honk Kong from India in the wake of an infringement dispute with Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson. The New Delhi High Court handed down the decision today, over five months after the phones were banned in India.
The handsets have been stuck in limbo since Ericsson lodged a case on December 8th of last year claiming that Xiaomi had violated hardware infringement laws. Ericsson has agreed to the latest decision, which requires Xiaomi to keep a strict inventory of the phones as they make arrangements for them to be returned to Hong Kong.
While Xiaomi has managed to launch other handsets in India since the initial ban, the Redmi Note 3G Handsets have been gathering dust in a holding facility owned by e-commerce retail platform Flipkart, who are the designated retail partner for the Redmi Note 3G in India, as well as other Xiaomi products.
Xiaomi’s Mediatek processor is the hardware component at the heart of Ericsson’s infringement claim. The Chinese handset maker has been forbidden to retail its Mediatek-powered handsets since December 2014, along with any manufacturing, advertisement and import procedures related to the allegedly infringed technology.
The Delhi High Court partially lifted a total ban on Xiaomi products just eight days after the complaint was brought forward by Ericsson. Under a ‘pro tem’ order Xiaomi has since been able to launch products that do not contain the Mediatek processor.
The Xiaomi Mi 4i, which is the Chinese hardware giant’s 5-inch HD model, was launched at a premiere event in New Delhi on the 23rd of April, attended by Xiaomi founder Lei Jun and VP of Xiaomi Global Hugo Barra. The latest model runs on a Octa-Core Snapdragon processor, which is permitted under the pro tem agreement with the New Delhi High Court. The phone, which is priced at $385 US, reportedly sold out within 15 seconds after over 300,000 customers had pre-registered for its launch.
According to CEO Lei Jun, India is currently the most important market in the company’s expansion plan. In an interview with the Economic Times just days after the India launch of the Mi 4, he claimed to be “fairly confident” that Xiaomi will be the number one smartphone maker in India within three to five years.
Two days ago Xiaomi also launched its 16,000mAh and 5,000mAh power banks, another of its popular market-entry products. The company recently opened a US & EU online store, which sells Xiaomi’s fitness tracker and headphones along with the power banks. The company has not yet revealed concrete plans to extend its smartphones and tablets into western markets.
Image Source: Xiaomi