Update (Aug 9, 12:30 pm ET): Edited to include a statement from OnePlus.
What you need to know
- OnePlus and OPPO face a stifling smartphone ban in Germany following the patent dispute with Nokia.
- Nokia's lawsuit against both Chinese companies comes after the use of its 5G technology.
- The ban has gone into effect as of August 5 which threatens both companies' smartphones.
- Both smartphone providers will have to pay €2.50 per smartphone as the 5G technology is in phones sold around the world, not just in Germany.
OnePlus and OPPO's patent dispute with Nokia has brought trouble as its phones face a sales ban in Germany. Both Chinese phone manufacturers saw themselves in court as Nokia sued them over 5G patents.
According to WinFuture, Nokia met with the Mannheim district court about this issue in July, stating that OPPO and OnePlus are using 5G technologies specific to Nokia that they are not paying for. As WinFuture states, "the dispute is specifically about so-called 'essential patents,' which are of fundamental importance for the 5G standards."
In July, the Mannheim district court took the initiative in saying that if OPPO and OnePlus could reach an agreement about the patents with Nokia, a ban would be averted. Seeing where we are now, no such agreement has been reached, which has brought in the smartphone ban for both Chinese companies in Germany as of August 5. German websites for both companies are now devoid of any smartphones.
We reached out to OPPO and OnePlus, both of which state that they are in talks to resolve the matter:
"OnePlus diligently complies with the laws and regulations in all markets where we operate. As a leading technology brand, we recognize the importance of intellectual property in driving innovation and highly value fair access to essential patents. Nokia’s demand for an unreasonably high fee is detrimental to this effect.
We are actively working with the relevant parties to resolve the ongoing legal matter. While sales and marketing of the relevant products are on hold, OnePlus remains committed to the German market and will continue our operations. Meanwhile, OnePlus users in Germany can continue to enjoy our products and related services such as regular software updates and our after-sales service as before."
As noted, the ban doesn't affect support for phones already sold, and the companies appear to be able to sell accessories like earbuds.
Still, the ban could also spell disaster for the likes of the OnePlus 10T, which just launched, if an agreement isn't made soon. WinFuture states that additional companies under the BBK Electronics umbrella could also face similar bans, including Vivo and Realme. The courts say that the companies will have to pay €2.50 per smartphone and enter a worldwide licensing agreement.
With this ongoing patent dispute, Nokia is now widening its lawsuit against BBK Electronics subsidiaries. The countries where Nokia will act will be France, Spain, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, meaning OPPO and OnePlus could face more sales bans across Europe if things don't get sorted out.
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Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.