Germany kicks out Oppo and OnePlus for refusing to pay patent fees to Nokia

Germany kicks out Oppo and OnePlus for refusing to pay patent fees to Nokia
Update: Nokia has given the following statement regarding the feud:

The original article continues below.


Nokia owns some essential 5G patents and since sister companies Oppo and OnePlus were found to be using those technologies without paying the licensing fees and there is no such thing as free lunch, especially in the tech world, the BBK-owned Chinese mobile manufacturers were forced to halt sales in Germany.

WinFuture reports that Finnish telecommunications company Nokia (not to be confused which HMD Global which sells Nokia branded phones) has won two patent lawsuits against Oppo and OnePlus. A Mannheim district court found that Oppo was indeed using the patented technologies for its 5G phones and since they were not licensed, the relevant phones were essentially being sold illegally. This also holds true for OnePlus, which is owned by the same parent company, and although there was a time when the two had distinct identities, they have grown closer in the past few years and many of their recent devices have the same DNA.

Back in 2018, Oppo had agreed to pay patent fees to Nokia, but that contract expired and subsequent talks broke down. Oppo had tried appealing the ruling but was unsuccessful. 

For now, Oppo and OnePlus have stopped device sales in Germany and their respective websites are now bereft of any phones. OnePlus and Oppo are not big players in Germany and have less than 5 percent of the market so this shouldn't be a big blow to the companies as far as sales are concerned, but they surely wouldn't want to be known as patent thieves and have decided to shift the blame to Nokia. 

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OnePlus’ director of communications Spenser Blank confirmed to The Verge that sales have been halted in Germany and accused Nokia of demanding unreasonably high fees.

Oppo adopted a similar tone and blamed Nokia for the "unreasonably high contract renewal fee" for the patents.

This dispute will not affect the current phones and the companies will likely continue providing software support.

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