Chinese phone manufacturers seem to be having trouble everywhere. Other countries are also pursuing Chinese smartphone manufacturers for dubious business practises. The most recent country to take action against the dubious business methods employed by various Chinese phone manufacturers is Germany.
Oppo and OnePlus are not permitted to sell their 5G smartphones in Germany, according to a court ruling. Experts predict that similar restrictions will soon be implemented in other countries of the European Union.
Instead of charges of money laundering or economic misappropriation, the German court’s decision to impose a ban on Oppo and OnePlus was based on a patent dispute between Nokia and the Chinese phone manufacturers.
The various 5G patents held by Finnish tech giant Nokia, one of the most well-known early mobile phone manufacturers, are causing a lot of trouble for several Chinese smartphone manufacturers.
In July of this year, the German Mannheim District Court issued a decision in Nokia’s favour, finding that Oppo and OnePlus lacked legal authorization to use the 5G technology in their handsets.
The court then issued an order mandating that the parties agree on licence payments in order to avoid having to ban the sale of Oppo devices. And in fact, that is what took place.
One of the reasons they were unable to come to a licence arrangement may be because Oppo and OnePlus both rely on economies of scale to govern their operations, which means they preserve very tight margins on each of the devices they sell but aim to earn considerable money by selling a huge quantity of them.
If they had opted for a licencing agreement, both of these smartphone manufacturers would have been required to pay about 2.50 Euros per unit sold. Although it might not look bad on paper, given how low of a profit margin Oppo and OnePlus both operate on, the fee would have eaten up a considerable portion of their revenues in Europe.
There is a very good likelihood that other manufacturers from BBK Electronics, the parent company of Oppo and OnePlus, may encounter a similar problem as a result of this move. Manufacturers like Vivo, iQOO, Realme, and others are included in BBK Electronics’ range of smartphone brands.
More legal actions taken by Nokia against the BBK group in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, France, Finland, and Sweden may spell the end of the European tour for the brands Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, and Realme.
After being prohibited from selling smartphones in Germany, OnePlus replies.
The selling of smartphones made by OnePlus and Oppo was recently prohibited in Germany. The same is attributed to a patent dispute with the Finnish technology company Nokia. Nokia holds a large number of patents. And this is the primary cause of the issue.
Remember how the German Mannheim District Court decided in favour of Nokia in July, finding that Oppo and OnePlus lacked the legal right to incorporate 5G technology into their products. In addition, the court had mandated that the two companies agree on a licencing price settlement.
Sadly, no compromise was possible, and on August 5, the Munich 1 court halted sales of smartphones made by OnePlus and Oppo.
In response, OnePlus has released the following statement:
“OnePlus actively complies with all legal requirements in the markets in which we conduct business. As a leading technology company, we support equitable access to fundamental patents and understand how important intellectual property is in fostering innovation. This is adversely affected by Nokia’s unreasonable charge request. To address the continuing legal issue, we are actively collaborating with the necessary parties. OnePlus is still dedicated to the German market and will continue operations even though sales and marketing of the pertinent devices have been put on hold. Users of OnePlus in Germany can still benefit from our goods and related services, including as routine software updates and our after-sales support, in the interim.