It’s less than a week since our recent in-depth analysis of the legal battle over the Indian market, with which Cyanogen Inc, OnePlus and Micromax are embroiled. In light of the holiday season, I shall keep this update short, but the Delhi High Court has today overturned the original sales ban imposed as a result of Micromax’s legal petition, in an apparently early Christmas gift to OnePlus.
The original court order against OnePlus, preventing it from selling its mobile phones, was found by the High Court to not meet the requirements for such an interim injunction (without the full hearing of evidence from both sides), since the two companies were not competing for the same market territory as each other.
In what appears to be a major win for common sense, the panel of judges recognised that Micromax positions its devices at around one third of the price of the OnePlus handset (8,000 Rs versus 22,000 Rs), and that they were therefore not in direct competition for the same customers. The judges also stated that it was not correct of the previous individual judge to pass the sales ban without giving time to both sides in the case to file their arguments.
In an interesting development, however, the court set a deadline of two weeks, at which point a written statement against the original claim should be made by both Cyanogen and OnePlus, as they feel a proper debate is necessary on the technical matters of the case, including the software on both devices (as OnePlus had argued the two phones were not running the same software).
In a moment of lighter tone, however, the judgement appears to refer to Cyanogen Inc as a “villain”. It’s certainly clear from these court proceedings that Cyanogen are likely to find themselves brought into this lawsuit, having seemingly been instructed to file a statement themselves (in addition to OnePlus). That’s not in itself unexpected, given the manner in which negotiations were carried out. It is unclear whether or not anyone from Cyanogen will appear at the court hearing in 2 weeks’ time, or if their filing will only be by paper.
Either way though, it does appear that the “villain” may be about to meet its comeuppance for the unprofessional manner in which it conducts business with its partners. Perhaps a New Year’s resolution is in order? Honouring agreements, respecting partners, and working in the interests of collaboration are beneficial for all concerned in a business relationship.
From your impromptu XDA legal column, I’d like to wish everyone a peaceful break, and all the best for 2015. We’ll be returning to this when the court documents are made available in full, for a more thorough look-through, and to follow any further (and likely) legal action taking place elsewhere in the world. After all, OnePlus’ legal fees are certainly not going to be inconsiderate after all these court dates!