Chinese smartphone maker Oppo and its sub-brand OnePlus have halted smartphone sales in Germany after losing a patent lawsuit with Nokia.
Nokia has accused the companies of using its proprietary technology to process 4G and 5G signals without paying for a license. reports European patent news site Juve patent, and won an injunction to stop the sale in a German court last Friday. (Just to clarify, this is Nokia, the Finnish telecom giant, a huge player in European telecom equipment. Nokia, the mobile brand, is owned by a separate company, also Finnish, called HMD Global.)
Oppo and OnePlus have complied with this order, according to changes in their German online stores.
Oppo’s site now makes no mention of hardware devices at all, including phones and smartwatches. Contrast this with the company’s UK site, which has a link to Oppo’s store and various product information on its homepage. OnePlus has been stripped the same way his german site (again: compare with UK site), which shows no results for phones or watches in its store. You can find your way to a product description with a little navigation, but clicking the “buy now” button will take you straight to a 404 error page.
In a press statement to The edgeOnePlus’ communications director Spenser Blank confirmed that the company had halted sales in Germany and blamed “Nokia’s demand for an unreasonably high fee” for patents as the reason for the lawsuit.
“We are actively working with the relevant parties to resolve the ongoing legal issue,” said Blank. “While sales and marketing of the relevant products are on hold, OnePlus remains committed to the German market and will continue our business. 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.”
In a statement given to Juve patentAn Oppo spokesperson also confirmed that the company “suspended the sale and marketing of certain products through the official channels of Oppo Germany”, and blamed Nokia’s “unreasonably high contract renewal fee” for its patents as the case belli.
As both statements imply: Oppo and OnePlus handsets continue to work fine in Germany and may still sell through third-party resellers.
Although Oppo and Oneplus are recognizable names for technology followers, the companies are small players in the European smartphone market. According to data from Counterpoint ResearchOppo accounted for just five percent of the total European market in Q2 2022 (after Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi) and OnePlus even less than this.