The Times of India reports that the Delhi high court has banned Xiaomi from both importing and selling smartphones in India following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson.

Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India […]

It is not clear if the order will impact all Xiaomi devices sold in India or specific devices that violate the patents.

However, as the patents concerned are Standard Essential Patents – patents which are so fundamental to a particular product category that the patent owner is obliged by law to license them on reasonable terms – it appears likely that the ruling applies to all Xiaomi handsets … 

Ericsson told TechCrunch that it obtained the ruling after Xiaomi failed to respond to repeated communications.

After more than 3 years of attempts to engage in a licensing conversation in good faith, for products compliant with the GSM, EDGE, and UMTS/WCDMA standards Xiaomi continues to refuse to respond in any way regarding a fair license to Ericsson’s intellectual property on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Ericsson, as a last resort, had to take legal action.

Xiaomi says that it hasn’t yet received the injunction, but wants to work with Ericsson to resolve the issue.

We haven’t received an official note from the Delhi High Court. However, our legal team is currently evaluating the situation based on the information we have.

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

Indian intellectual property site Spicy IP questions whether it would have been more appropriate for the court to hold a damages hearing rather than impose an immediate injunction, and whether the court actually has the necessary powers to impose such a blanket ban.

Xiaomi only started selling handsets in India in July, as part of a highly successful international expansion program which saw the company overtake both Huawei and LG to become the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer. A recent funding round could see the company valued at more than $40B.

India is now Xiaomi’s second-largest market after its home territory of China. The company previously attracted controversy in India with its policy of selling only one handset at a time in extremely brief flash-sales lasting literally just a few seconds.

The WSJ notes that Xiaomi’s handsets may not be the only missing Indian phones as there was no sign of a Samsung smartphone running Tizen that had been widely tipped to launch there yesterday.

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