OnePlus has been granted a breather by the Delhi High Court, which has lifted the ban imposed by the same court on December 16th. A bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog set aside the single judge’s order restraining Chinese phonemaker Shenzhen OnePlus Technology Co Ltd from selling its mobiles on the plea of Micromax, which had alleged that OnePlus is infringing on the exclusive deal it had signed with Cyanogen in September 2014.
The same single judge has now been asked to hear the case afresh as the bench felt that it was not a case for grant of an ad-interim injunction. The crux of the decision lies in the fact that neither OnePlus nor Micromax eats into the territory of the other.
The bench observed it was not proper of the single judge to finally decide the application without giving the parties time to file their pleadings. OnePlus was not allowed to file its response to the case filed by Micromax. Over the past week, OnePlus had hired senior lawyer, Mr. Kapil Sibal as its attorney to fight the case, who had argued that OnePlus was not given fair time to file its appeal and there are lot of points missed by Micromax while filing the case.
In view of the facts noted by us hereinabove, it would not be a case to grant an ad-interim injunction, for the reason we were informed that mobile devices launched in India by Micromax are sold at around Rs 8,000 per piece and that by OnePlus at around Rs 22,000 per piece. The consumer of one product is mid-segment and of the other is high-end and thus prima-facie neither competes nor eats into territory of other.
Cyanogen, the ‘Villain’
Micromax’s first device under the YU brand (for which it entered an exclusive deal with Cyanogen in India) was announced last week and will go on sale on January 13th for Rs.8,999. OnePlus had earlier entered into a non-exclusive deal with Cyanogen to provide the software support to its OnePlus One smartphone for two years. Cyanogen claimed that its exclusive deal with Micromax supersedes the non-exclusive deal signed with Cyanogen (at least in India).
But the court bench observed that Cyanogen was unfair to both OnePlus and Micromax in the way it dealt with both the companies. In a lighter vein, the court referred to Cyanogen as the “villain”, and directed the company to file its own statement in writing to the application filed by Micromax.
To summarize, in the next couple of weeks, both OnePlus and Cyanogen will be filing their responses to the application filed by Micromax and the single judge will start hearing the case afresh. The judge is required to allow a proper debate to take place on all the issues, including features of the software versions available to Micromax and OnePlus as well as the terms of the agreements of the two companies with Cyanogen.
OnePlus is expected to argue that the OS version of CyanogenMod running on OnePlus One (version 11s) is different from the OS version running on Yureka (version 11). OnePlus had already suggested that it be given three months time to sell its stock as well as develop another software to substitute Cyanogen, but Micromax did not agree with it. For now, OnePlus is free to import and sell the OnePlus One in India (through Amazon) and the case will start afresh within the next two weeks.
Save your popcorn, the drama is far from over.