Delhi High Court Warns Oppo of Sales Ban Over Unpaid Royalties to InterDigital

The Delhi High Court has issued a stern warning to Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo, directing the company to clear all pending royalties owed to research and development firm InterDigital within three months. The court order, issued on February 21, specifies that failure to comply with the payment directive could lead to an application by InterDigital seeking an injunction on the sale of devices by Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme in India.

The undisclosed amount of pending royalties is to be deposited in an interest-bearing bank account, as per the court’s instructions. Additionally, the court has set a deadline for the trial in this case to be concluded by the end of 2024.

Justice Prathiba Singh of the Delhi High Court, who presided over the case, emphasized the need for confidentiality during the trial. A confidentiality club, comprising designated experts, internal representatives of both parties, and their lawyers, has been established. Only members of this club will have access to the documents exchanged during the trial, minimizing the risk of confidential information being used outside the litigation.

Background of the Case:

The court’s order stems from a litigation filed by InterDigital against mobile phone manufacturers, including Oppo, RealMe, and OnePlus. The dispute revolves around the usage of cellular technology (3G, 4G, 5G) and video coding technology in the handsets produced by these companies.

According to the court judgment, InterDigital engaged in negotiations with the Oppo Group for several years to establish a license agreement on Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms for the use of its technology. When the negotiations failed to reach an agreement, InterDigital initiated multiple litigations against the Oppo Group in various countries, including the UK, Germany, and India, in December 2021.

Previous Legal Encounter for Oppo:

This is not the first time Oppo has faced legal consequences related to technology usage. In July 2023, a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court ordered Oppo to deposit 23 percent of its India sales within four weeks for using Nokia’s technology without the required consent. The bench determined the 23 percent figure based on Oppo’s India sales accounting for approximately 23 percent of its global sales. The Supreme Court later upheld this Delhi High Court order.

InterDigital was represented by the law firm Anand and Anand, with partner Pravin Anand appearing for the company.

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