Xiaomi faces lawsuit in India for alleged infringement of patented smartphone tech

InterDigital filed the cases against Xiaomi in India after years of negotiations

Highlights
  • R&D firm InterDigital has filed two patent infringement cases against Xiaomi in India
  • The concerned patents are related to 3G/ 4G network performance and video decoding and picture quality
  • The company is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for Xiaomi’s infringement of the patents

InterDigital, a Delaware-headquartered mobile and video R&D firm, has sued Xiaomi for allegedly using its patented technology in smartphones it sells in India. The firm has filed two cases against the Chinese phonemaker in the Delhi High Court, seeking compensatory and punitive damages against the infringements. The concerned patents include five of InterDigital’s cellular 3G and 4G Indian patents and three of its H.265/HEVC Indian patents. “The claims were filed after years of negotiations after InterDigital has made clear that it is willing to resolve the terms of a FRAND license through binding arbitration,” the company said in a statement released on Thursday. FRAND license allows one company to license the essential tech patented by another organisation at reasonable prices.

91mobiles has reached out to Xiaomi for a statement on the matter but did not receive a response till the time of publishing. InterDigital, on the other hand, claims that it had invested over two decades of R&D effort in developing said 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies that are reflected in the company’s portfolio of more than 32,000 patents and applications worldwide.

“Wireless and video standards play the important role of eliminating barriers to entry, enabling new companies – like Xiaomi – to enter the market and have success despite having made no investment in previous wireless research activities. Advanced research drives key wireless and video standards, and fair licenses with companies that make use of those technologies enable companies like InterDigital to reinvest in still more research, benefiting all users and the industry at large,” William J. Merritt President and CEO of InterDigital said.

The company is hopeful that this claim in the Delhi High Court, will result in a fair license, and that Xiaomi will join Samsung, Apple, Huawei and many others in paying InterDigital for its patent.

Not the first time

This is not the first time Xiaomi has been accused of patent infringement. Back in 2015, Xiaomi was sued by Ericsson for infringement of the latter’s patented network tech — the latter claimed it had invited the phone maker to license its patented tech but that Xiaomi instead launched its phones without the requisite patents. This led the courts from banning the Chinese company from importing, assembling, making, or selling its phones in India. It was, however, provided with an injunction by the court over, and eventually, the matter was settled after Xiaomi signed a patent agreement with Qualcomm.