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Delhi HC bans Chinese handset maker Xiaomi from importing & selling smartphones in India

Delhi High Court has granted an ex parte injunction order against Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi for infringement of Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson's patents. The order forbids the company from manufacturing, importing, advertising, and selling the devices that infringe the Standard, Essential Patents (SEPs) in question, according to a Spicy IP report.

The report further mentions that customs officials have been directed to stop imports under the IPR Rules, 2007, while local commissioners have been appointed to visit the offices of the company in order to ensure that the orders are properly implemented.

"While we haven't received an official notice from the Delhi High Court, our legal team is currently evaluating the situation based on the information we have," said Manu Jain, Xiaomi's India head, in an emailed response.

"India is a very important market for Xiaomi and we will respond promptly as needed and in full compliance with Indian laws. Moreover, we are open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably," he further added.

The patents in question include SEPs that are subject to Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms (FRAND).

If implemented, the ban could serve a big blow to the company. Already one of the leading smartphone manufacturer's in China, Xiaomi had made an extremely successful debut in the Indian smartphone market in July this year with the launch of its flagship device Mi3 in the country.

Following an online only flash sales model for selling its devices in the country, the company has seen its products being sold out within seconds not once or twice but each and every time. In India, the company has entered into an exclusive partnership with Indian e-commerce major Flipkart.com to offer its devices.

Last month, Jun Lei, co-founder and CEO, Xiaomi, had said that India is becoming its largest overseas market for Xiaomi. According to the company, it has already sold over 500,000 smartphones in the country in less than four months of operations. It is now also considering setting up a manufacturing base in the country.

Recently, Xiaomi Global's VP Hugo Barra had also mentioned that the company is planning to invest in Indian startups and is scouting for opportunities in Delhi-NCR and Bangalore for the same. The focus is on mobile and apps that can be incorporated to enhance the product experience.

Ericsson has earlier sued home grown handset manufacturer Micromax Informatics Ltd in March 2013 over alleged patent infringement and refusal to enter into licence agreement related to wireless technology standards such as GSM, EDGE and 3G.

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