Centre for Internet & Society

This blog post is an attempt to chronicle information about big-ticket lawsuits pertaining to mobile technology patents filed in India. It will be periodically updated to reflect future developments. All information presented here has been gathered from publicly available sources. Intern Suchisubhra Sarkar assisted in writing this post.

Last updated: April 29, 2016

Access the court orders and other references in the compilation. For a summary and analysis of these cases, see: Joining the Dots in India's Big-Ticket Mobile Phone Patent Litigation


Nearly three years after litigation over patents and designs associated with big-ticket mobile technology started in the US, the first salvo in the patent wars was fired in India. Sweden-based Ericsson, a provider of communications infrastructure and services, sued home-grown budget smartphone manufacturer Micromax in early 2013. Patent litigation in the arena of mobile phone technology has steadily risen since. Lei Jun, the chairman of China's largest smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has said that facing a patent lawsuit "can be considered a rite of passage for a company that is coming of age". This blog post is an attempt to chronicle lawsuits pertaining to mobile technology patents filed in India.

1. Ericsson vs. Micromax

In March 2013, Ericsson filed a patent infringement suit against Micromax, claiming Rs. 100 crore (Rs. 1 billion) in damages. Ericsson alleged that Micromax had infringed on 8 of its standard essential patents (SEPs) registered in India:

AMR Patents:

○ IN203034 -- Linear Predictive Analysis by synthesis encoding method and encoder

○ IN203036 -- Apparatus for producing from an original speech signal a plurality of parameters

○ IN234157 -- A method of encoding/ decoding multi-codebook fixed bitrate CELP signal block

○ IN203686 -- Method and system for alternating transmission of codec mode information

○ IN213723 -- Method and apparatus for generating comfort noise in a speech decoder

3G Patents:

○ IN229632 -- Multi-service handling by a single mobile station

○ IN240471 -- A mobile radio for use in a mobile radio communication system

EDGE Patent:

○ IN241747 -- A transceiving omit unit for block automatic retransmission request

The Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte injunction restraining Micromax from selling, importing, or manufacturing mobile devices that implemented 3G, AMR and EDGE standards. Micromax and Ericsson later entered into an agreement in which the former would pay interim royalty:

● For phones or devices implementing GSM, Micromax would pay 1.25% of the sale price of every unit.

● For phones or devices implementing GPRS and GSM, Micromax would pay 1.75% of the sale price of every unit.

● For phones or devices implementing EDGE, GPRS, and GSM, Micromax would pay 2% of the sale price of every unit.

● For devices (mobile phones and tablets that support voice calling) implementing WCDMA/ HSPA, Micromax would pay 2% of the sale price of every unit.

● For dongles and data cards, Micromax would pay US $2.50 for every unit sold.

In November 2014, the Delhi High Court fixed new interim royalty rates and set a deadline of December 31, 2015 for the trial.

From November 12, 2014 to November 12, 2015:

○ For phones or devices that implement GSM standards, Micromax would pay 0.8% of the net selling price.

○ For phones and devices that implement GPRS and GSM, Micromax would pay 0.8% of the net selling price.

○ For phones and devices that implement EDGE, GPRS, and GSM, Micromax would pay 1% of the net selling price.

○ For phones, devices and calling tablets that implement WCDMA/ HSPA, Micromax would pay 1% of the net selling price.

From November 13, 2015 to November 12, 2016:

○ For phones or devices that implement GSM standards, Micromax would pay 0.8% of the net selling price to Ericsson.

○ For phones and devices that implement GPRS and GSM, Micromax would pay 0.8% of the net selling price.

○ For phones and devices that implement EDGE, GPRS, and GSM, Micromax would pay 1.1% of the net selling price.

○ For phones, devices and calling tablets that implement WCDMA/ HSPA, Micromax would pay 1.1% of the net selling price.

From November 13, 2016 to November 12, 2020:

○ For phones or devices that implement GSM standards, Micromax would pay 0.8% of the net selling price to Ericsson.

○ For phones and devices that implement GPRS and GSM, Micromax would pay 0.8% of the net selling price.

○ For phones and devices that implement EDGE, GPRS, and GSM, Micromax would pay 1.3% of the net selling price.

○ For phones, devices and calling tablets that implement WCDMA/ HSPA, Micromax would pay 1.3% of the net selling price.

"Net selling price" was defined as stated in footnote .

As of 2013, when the suit was filed, Ericsson held 33,000 granted patents worldwide and 400 in India. Ericsson claimed to hold a third of 2G SEPs and a quarter of 3G SEPs. Micromax was then the largest domestic smartphone manufacturer in the country, second only to Samsung in terms of the number of smartphone units sold, and holding roughly 20% of the smartphone market share.

In November 2013, Micromax filed a complaint with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) claiming that Ericsson had abused its dominant position in the market by imposing exorbitant royalty rates. The CCI determined prima facie that Micromax's claim was valid and ordered an investigation, which was challenged by Ericsson in the Delhi High Court. The court declared that the CCI cannot interfere in an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit. [See "9. Ericsson vs. Competition Commission of India" for details.]

Micromax challenged the validity of the 8 suit patents held by Ericsson. Micromax contends that while Section 13(4) of the Indian Patents Act allows the patent holder to file a suit in case of infringement, it is not proof of the validity of such a patent. Ericsson, on the other hand, has claimed that the burden of proving invalidity of patents lies on Micromax.

By an order dated July 7, 2015 the court held that burden of proof lay on Micromax.

In addition, Ericsson filed a suit for contempt claiming that Micromax failed to provide the statement of sales and also failed to pay the royalty on sale of its Yureka and YU brands and devices. In response, the court ordered Micromax to submit the statements for the sales of these products along with a response to the contempt proceedings within four weeks time. On the question of royalty that ought to have been paid to Ericsson since November 2014, the court rejected Micromax’s contention that the payment should be stayed till Intex’s appeal on the same issues were decided. It directed Micromax to pay the royalty due to Ericsson.

 

2. Ericsson vs. Gionee

Ericsson sued Indian budget smartphone manufacturer Gionee in late 2013 over the alleged infringement of the same 8 SEPs over which Micromax was sued. In October 2013, the Delhi High Court fixed an interim royalty to be paid by Gionee to Ericsson for one month, which was calculated on the basis of the sales of Gionee's devices worth approximately US $24 million in India. These rates were established on the basis of the interim royalties awarded to Ericsson in March 2013 in the patent infringement suit against Micromax.

○ For phones or devices implementing GSM, Gionee would pay 1.25% of the sale price of every unit to Ericsson.

○ For phones or devices implementing GPRS and GSM, Gionee would pay 1.75% of the sale price of every unit.

○ For phones or devices implementing EDGE, GPRS, and GSM, Gionee would pay 2% of the sale price of every unit.

○ For devices implementing WCDMA/ HSPA, which includes mobile phones and tablets that support voice calling, Gionee would pay 2% of the sale price of every unit.

○ For dongles and data cards, Gionee would pay US $2.50 for every unit sold.

The outcome or status of FRAND negotiations between Ericsson and Gionee are not present in publicly accessible documents of the High Court at the time of writing. The suit is sub judice.

Gionee is one of the largest mobile phone manufacturers in China and has captured roughly 2% of the smartphone market share in India.

3. Ericsson vs. Intex

In 2013, Indian mobile phone manufacturer Intex filed a complaint with the CCI alleging that Ericsson was abusing its dominant position during the course of negotiations over an SEP licensing agreement. The CCI determined prima facie in that Ericsson had abused its dominant position in the market and ordered that an investigation clubbed with the one following a similar complaint made by Micromax be done. The next month, Ericsson filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the CCI's investigation. In April the same year, Ericsson sued Intex claiming Rs. 56 crores (560 million) in damages for the alleged infringement of 8 of its SEPs, the same ones over which Micromax and Gionee were sued. The court ordered Intex to pay 50% of the amount of royalty for the duration from the date the lawsuit was filed to March 1, 2015, directly to Ericsson. The royalty amount was determined on the same lines as the one that was paid by Micromax. Intex was ordered to pay the remaining 50% with a bank guarantee within 4 weeks. The court also declared these terms would be applied every six months until the trial completes.

In support of the claim, Ericsson submitted results and reports of lab tests it had conducted in-house on four “representative” Intex handsets available in the market. The reports were accompanied by an affidavit from telecom expert Vijay Ghate and another by Max Olofsson, the Director of Patent Licensing at Ericsson.

Intex, which manufactures feature phones and smartphones, ranked third in terms of market share (8%) in India in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014.

4. Ericsson vs. Xiaomi

In December 2014, Ericsson filed a suit against Xiaomi in India for the alleged infringement of the 8 SEPs over it had sued Micromax, Gionee and Intex. Xiaomi, merely 6 months old in the Indian smartphone market, was inundated with demand for its phones, which were rich in features and performance and priced comparatively low. The Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte injunction on the sale, manufacture, advertisement, and import of Xiaomi's devices.

Xiaomi claimed that its latest devices in the Indian market (as of December 2014), the Mi3, Redmi1S and Redmi Note 4G, contained Qualcomm chipsets, which implemented technologies licensed by Ericsson. The Redmi Note 3G and previous models of the Mi and Redmi ranges, however, contained chipsets from Mediatek, which does not have a licensing agreement with Ericsson.

Xiaomi subsequently challenged the injunction before a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court, which issued temporary orders to allow Xiaomi to resume the sale, import, manufacture, and advertisement of its mobile devices subject to the conditions:

● Xiaomi would only sell devices that contained Qualcomm chips.

● Xiaomi would deposit Rs. 100 towards royalty for every infringing device it imported to India from the date of the launch of the device in India to January 5, 2015. This amount was to be kept in a fixed deposit for three months while the case proceeded.

An order dated June 1, 2015 reveals that Xiaomi and Ericsson agreed that Xiaomi would withdraw 1,05,961 unsold units of the Redmi Note 3G phone from the Indian market and return them to the original consignee, Xiaomi Singapore. The Delhi High Court has also ordered Xiaomi to maintain an inventory of unsold  phones with its Indian seller, Flipkart.

On April 22, 2016, the Delhi High Court vacated the interim order passed in December 2014 but only with respect to two 3G patents, IN 229632 and IN 240471, on grounds of concealment of relevant information by Ericsson. Xiaomi had argued that it was already in a "Multi Product License Agreement" with chip manufacturer Qualcomm, which in turn had a licensing agreement with Ericsson for these 3G technologies. Xiaomi further stated that Ericsson had concealed information about the licensing arrangement with Qualcomm in court due to which the injunction on Xiaomi was issued.

5. Ericsson vs. Kingtech

The earliest wrangle over mobile phone patent infringement in India started in March 2011 when Ericsson notified Customs officials to not grant clearance to a consignment imported by Kingtech Electronics. Ericsson stated in its request that the consignment containing 1,900 handsets comprising 18 models of the G’Five brand infringed 5 of its AMR patents. These patents (IN203034, IN203036, IN234157, IN203686, and IN213723) are the same ones over which Ericsson subsequently sued other budget mobile phone manufacturers in India. Additionally, Ericsson submitted lab test reports verified by an “independent expert”, which showed that the 18 models infringed upon its AMR patents.

In response, the Customs department detained the goods as per the Intellectual Property Rights (Imported Goods) Enforcement Rules, 2007. Kingtech was called upon to put forth its side before the Customs department, after which it filed a writ in the Delhi High Court challenging the detention of its goods. Kingtech contended that the Deputy Commissioner of Customs was not the appropriate authority to determine the validity of a granted patent and to decide if goods infringed on that patent, and that she was overstepping her authority by suspending the release of goods without an injunction from the court. Kingtech also asked for the goods to be released in the interim.

In December 2011, the Delhi High Court ordered for the release of Kingtech’s goods. Ericsson appealed for a stay on the order and requested that sample mobile phones from Kingtech’s consignment be lab-tested independently to determine patent infringement. In April 2012, the court rejected the appeal and ordered for a sample to be sent to two laboratories, Sasken and CanvasM.

Ericsson then initiated a patent infringement suit against Kingtech in the Delhi High Court and sought an injunction on the import of its allegedly infringing devices into India. The court granted the injunction, and directed the Customs department to notify Ericsson "as and when" a consignment for Kingtech arrived in India as well as to "entertain" Ericsson's objections to it, in case it had any.

6. Vringo vs. ZTE

Vringo has filed two separate patent infringement suits against ZTE in the Delhi High Court.

6. 1. Vringo Infrastructure Inc. and Anr vs. Xu Dejun and Others

In November 2013, Vringo and filed a suit against ZTE, its CEO Xu Dejun, and its Indian subsidiary ZTE Telecom India over the alleged infringement of its patent IN243980 entitled "Mobile station operable with radio access network and a packet data serving node and a method for operating such mobile station". Vringo claimed that IN243980 is a standard essential patent for the CDMA2000 family of standards used by 6 “representative” mobile devices of ZTE: Optik V55, N880E, Chorus, AR910, Flash, and AC2736.

By conjecture, the standards pertaining to the patent as per Vringo’s claim are CDMA2000 1x Advanced, CDMA2000 1x EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) Revision A, and CDMA2000 1x EV-DO Revision B. Curiously, Vringo submitted a report and an affidavit by an expert (not named in the case text) who stated that the 6 devices support "at least CDMA2000-EV-DO Rev. A”.

The Delhi High Court granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction on the manufacture, import, sale, use, or advertisement of ZTE’s infringing products. ZTE challenged the injunction, which was lifted by the court on December 12, 2013. ZTE was directed to file within 4 weeks its counter statement, pay a bank guarantee of Rs. 5 crores (50 million), and file an affidavit disclosing the number of CDMA devices sold by it in India along with the amount of revenue obtained from them.

For the first time since litigation over mobile technology patents started in India, the court agreed to appoint a “scientific advisor” from a list of experts to apprise the court about the technical and scientific evidence placed on record. The list was to be drawn up by the litigating parties. The court also appointed local commissioners to record evidence from ZTE’s premises and directed Indian customs officials to notify Vringo of all ZTE shipments. The trial was ordered to be completed within six months of Vringo and ZTE first appearing before the local commissioners.

ZTE filed the affidavit on January 13, 2014, one day after the deadline. On February 3, 2014, Vringo filed a contempt suit against ZTE for its failure to comply with the deadline and requested the court to increase the amount of bank guarantee to be paid by ZTE.

The suit has been clubbed with the second patent infringement suit filed by Vringo against ZTE, apparently from September 11, 2014. Both patents belong to a portfolio of Nokia acquired by Vringo following a confidential agreement between them made in August 2012.

6. 2. Vringo Infrastructure Inc. and Anr vs. Indiamart Intermesh Ltd. and Others

In January 2014, Vringo and Vringo Infrastructure filed a patent infringement suit in the Delhi High Court against ZTE, ZTE’s Indian subsidiary, and Indiamart, a distributor of ZTE products, over the alleged infringement of its patent IN200572. The patent entitled “A method and a device for making a handover decision in a mobile communication system” pertains to 2G and 3G infrastructure, viz. base station controllers ZTE ZXG10 iBSC and ZTE ZXG10-BSCV2. This is the first among high-priced patent infringement lawsuits filed in India over mobile technologies that refers to the allegedly infringing components and not entire devices. China-based ZTE is a manufacturer of telecom equipment and systems and mobile phones unlike the other mobile phone makers sued in India, which are Indian companies with OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in China.

In February 2014, the court granted an ad-interim ex-parte injunction restraining ZTE from importing, selling, advertising, installing or operating devices that comprise the infringing components. It also appointed local commissioners to inspect ZTE’s premises and instructed customs authorities to detain ZTE's shipments that may contain such devices and to notify Vringo about them. In March 2014, ZTE appealed against the injunction, which was lifted on August 5 the same year with ZTE being ordered to deposit Rs. 17.85 crore (178.5 million) to the court.

A public update dated September 2, 2014 issued by Vringo to its shareholders states:

“ZTE must also provide a complete accounting of its allegedly infringing activity by September 3, 2014.

On August 30, 2014, Vringo filed a contempt motion alleging that ZTE failed to deposit the required funds [within the stipulated time and] violated the interim injunction while it was in effect."

Vringo submitted an affidavit by one Regis J. Bates to support its claims of patent infringement. A Single Judge of the High Court observed in his ruling in an order dated August 5, 2014 that Bates had stated that he was not a patent attorney nor did he intend to provide “expert opinions” on Indian patent law in his report. On this ground and owing to his not holding a degree in science, technology, or engineering; serving in only managerial positions throughout his career; and not possessing practical or research experience, the court ruled that Vringo had not been able to make a prima facie case of patent infringement. Further, the court directed that a panel of three “scientific advisors or experts” be appointed from three premier engineering colleges in Delhi by the heads of the respective institutions and that the panel submit its report within 6 weeks of holding its first meeting.

In response to an appeal made by Vringo on various counts, a 2-member bench of the Delhi High Court opined without interfering with the rest of the order (dated August 5, 2014) that a person without an academic degree in a specialised field could still be an expert by virtue of their vocation or avocation.

The suit is sub judice.

As of August 2014, ZTE had filed for the revocation of IN200572 on grounds of it not being innovative as well as for violating some statutory provisions under Section 64 of the Indian Patents Act.

On December 7, 2015, Vringo entered into a Confidential Settlement and License Agreement with ZTE, pursuant to which the parties agreed to settle all and any pending litigations and proceedings between them relating to, inter alia, patent infringement and patent invalidity claims. In addition, under the agreement, Vringo granted ZTE a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide perpetual license of certain patents and patent applications owned by it. ZTE agreed to pay Vringo a sum of $21.5 million in cash within 15 days following the execution of the agreement. Within 10 days following receipt of the payment by Vringo, the parties withdrew all the pending litigations and proceedings across the world.

Vringo, Inc., headquartered in the US, is “engaged in the development and monetisation of intellectual property and mobile technologies”.

ZTE is a multinational company headquartered in Shenzhen, China, which manufactures products and provides services in the telecom infrastructure, equipment, systems; mobile phone; and telecom software sphere. As of mid-2014, ZTE claimed to hold more than 17,000 patents worldwide.

7. Vringo vs. Asus

In April 2014, Vringo filed a patent infringement suit against AsusTek Computer Inc. and one of its distributors in New Delhi, Nuage Techsol Pvt. Ltd. in the High Court of Delhi. As per public updates issued by Vringo to its shareholders, Vringo has alleged the infringement of a non-SEP, IN 223183 entitled "Method and system for providing wireless communication using a context for message compression" by Asus in India.

Asus claimed that in the context of IN 223183 it was using technology licensed to it by Google. In August 2014, Google filed a request to become a party to the proceedings.

Vringo had requested for an injunction on Asus’ use of the technology in India. The injunction has not been granted yet.

The suit is sub judice. No further information about the lawsuit is publicly available. Unlike in the other cases listed in this blog post, neither has the injunction been granted nor do the legal orders mention interim royalty, bonds, or accounting statements or affidavits to be filed by the defendants.

Asus is a multinational company based in Taiwan. It manufactures computer hardware, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. In 2014, it was ranked fifth by Gartner in terms of the number of PC shipments.

8. Ericsson vs. iBall

In November 2011, Ericsson issued a letter to iBall stating that the latter’s mobile devices infringed upon Ericsson’s patents, the same 8 SEPs over which Micromax, Gionee, Intex, and Xiaomi were later sued. Ericsson also offered to discuss a FRAND licensing agreement with iBall.

On Ericsson’s proposal of entering into a global patent license agreement (GPLA), iBall agreed, but on the condition that details of its alleged patent infringements be disclosed to it. Ericsson replied that it could reveal these details only after entering into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with iBall. In subsequent communication with Ericsson, iBall also contended that it was only a vendor importing products from China and selling them in Indian, and thus an “innocent infringer”, if it is one.

Upon receiving the terms of the NDA, iBall brought the matter before the Competition Commission of India. iBall claimed that Ericsson’s refusal to identify the allegedly infringed SEPs; the threat of patent infringement proceedings; the attempt to coax iBall to enter into a “one-sided and onerous NDA”; tying and bundling patents irrelevant to iBall’s products by way of a GPLA; demanding unreasonably high royalties by way of a certain percentage value of handset as opposed to the cost of actual patented technology used all constituted abuse of Ericsson’s dominant position under Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. In May 2015, the CCI found prima facie abuse of dominant position by Ericsson in the domain of “Standard Essential Patents for 2G, 3G and 4G technologies in GSM standard-compliant mobile communication devices in India”, and asked the Director General to conduct an investigation within 60 days.

A few days later in in the month of May 2015, Ericsson challenged the CCI’s order before the Delhi High Court on the grounds that the order was “arbitrary in nature and without jurisdiction”. In September the same year, the court ordered that the Director General of the CCI shall not submit a report of the investigation or pass a final order in the case before the CCI.

In the same order, the Delhi High Court observed that iBall had not entered into a licensing agreement under FRAND terms despite Ericsson’s willingness to do so. It also found that iBall was aware of Ericsson’s portfolio of standard essential patents pertaining to GSM, GPRS, and WCDMA standards. The court held that as the infringing technologies are “standards”, there exists no substitute for them and thus these technologies are necessarily used by iBall’s telecommunication devices. Hence iBall’s plea of being aware of the violations was dismissed.

The court also passed an interim injunction against iBall in light of interim orders passed in the matters of Ericsson vs. Xiaomi (December 2014), Ericsson vs. Gionee (October 2013), and Ericsson vs. Micromax (March 2013). While the injunctions imposed on Xiaomi and Micromax were on the sale, manufacture, advertisement and import of their devices, iBall and its agents and affiliates have been restrained from only importing devices that are allegedly infringing in nature. The court held that without an interim injunction, Ericsson would suffer irreparable losses. The injunction against iBall lasted from September 9, 2015 to the date of the next hearing at the Delhi High Court.

Ericsson and iBall later entered into a Global Patent License Agreement (GPLA) as of October 20, 2015 and settled the patent infringement dispute outside of court. The suit was dismissed by the Delhi High Court in November 2015.

iBall in a personal electronics and computer peripherals company based in Mumbai, India. It ventured into the mobile phone business in 2010 and into the domain of tablet PCs and moulded interconnect devices (MIDs) a year later. iBall’s website states that the company’s revenue stood at Rs. 9000 million in the financial year 2013-14.

9. Ericsson vs. Competition Commission of India

The Competition Commision of India found Ericsson prima facie guilty of abuse of its dominant position in the matters of Ericsson vs Micromax (November 2013), Ericsson vs. Intex (January 2014), and Ericsson vs. iBall (September 2015). In response, Ericsson filed writ petitions in the Delhi High Court against the CCI’s orders that the Director General (DG) conduct an investigation and file a report in each of these cases.

The question of the DG’s authority to file such a report cropped up in Ericsson vs. Competition Commission of India and Anr. in May 2015. The Delhi High Court passed an interim order along the lines of its previous orders, wherein it stated that the DG shall be free to conduct an investigation but not to submit a final order. The court also restrained the CCI from passing final orders in the three cases. Though the DG could call upon any local officer of Ericsson, he would have to request Ericsson first in order to call officers stationed abroad. If Ericsson considered the request unreasonable, it would be entitled to move court.

In September 2015, the Delhi High Court set aside the summons issued by the DG in Case No. 50/2013 (Micromax Informatics Limited and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Publ), November 2013) and asserted that no coercive measures be taken against Ericsson till the next hearing. About a week later, the court converted the interim order into an absolute one in force till the final decision on the petition was passed. The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court had previously directed Ericsson and Micromax to try to reach a settlement.

In a judgement dated March 30, 2016, the court dismissed all the writ petitions and applications pertaining to the role of the CCI before it and made these observations:

1. Jurisdiction of the CCI: According to Ericsson, neither patents nor licences for patents are "goods" or "services". Therefore, a patent holder cannot not be considered an "enterprise" under Section 2(h) of the Competition Act, in the context of any allegation of demand of excessive royalty or imposition of unfair and unreasonable terms for grant of patent licences. The court held that patents are goods, and consequently, Ericsson would fall within the definition of an "enterprise". The court also noted that the subject matter of the complaints made by Micromax and Intex cannot be excluded from the purview of the Competition Act and that, "...whether there is any abuse of dominance is solely within the scope of the Competition Act and a civil court cannot decide whether an enterprise has abused its dominant position and pass orders as are contemplated under Section 27 of the Competition Act."

2. Conflict between the Patents Act and the Competition Act: The court held that in the event of any irreconcilable inconsistency between the two legislations, the Patent Act being a specialised statute, would override the general statute, even though the general statute contains a non obstante clause (section 60 of the Competition Act, 2002).

3. Scope of section 3 of the Competition Act: The court held that there is no overlap or inconsistency of section 3, which pertains to anti-competitive agreements, with the Patents Act. It also observed that the proceedings under the Competition Act are not in the nature of a private suit and that the scope of enquiry under section 3 would be restricted to whether there has abuse of dominant position as per the Competition Act.

4. Abuse of dominant position by Ericsson: When Micromax was about to declare an Initial Public Offer (IPO), Ericsson threated it with complaints to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The court held that, "Such threats were, undoubtedly, made with the object of influencing Micromax to conclude a licensing agreement... in certain cases, such threats by a proprietor of a SEP, who is found to be in a dominant position, could be held to be an abuse of dominance".

5. If a willing licensee could enter into licensing negotiations and also challenge the validity of the patents: The court held that, "A potential licensee cannot be precluded from challenging the validity of the patents in question". The court noted that being a potential licensee does not indicate willingness to accept licenses for invalid patents or to waive the right to challenge the [validity of] patents.

10. Ericsson vs. Lava

Ericsson sued Lava over its standard essential patents relating to AMR, GSM and EDGE technologies. The matter was first heard in court in March 2015. Both companies tried to negotiate a FRAND agreement but failed. Subsequently, the Delhi High Court decided in April 2015 and later in May 2015 that the case would be heard on its merits. Final arguments in this case are scheduled to commence from May 30, 2016.

Lava Mobiles, a manufacturer of mobile devices such as smartphones, feature phones and tablet PCs, is headquartered in NOIDA, India. As per information published on its website, it has testing facilities in China, and “is the only Indian mobile handset brand in the country to have invested in research and development”. The website also states that Lava’s revenues in the fiscal year 2013-14 were approximately Rs. 29,090 million.

N.B: OnePlus sought a restraining order against Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain and others in the Delhi High Court in December 2014 in anticipation of Micromax trying to thwart the launch of the OnePlus CyanogenMod 11S device. Micromax counter-sued it claiming it had inked an exclusive deal with US-based Cyanogen to sell devices installed with the Cyanogen operating system in India and neighbouring countries. These two lawsuits do not pertain to patents, and hence have not been covered in this compilation.

Edited, April 2, 2015: To add subhead "6. Vringo vs. ZTE"

Edited, April 3, 2015: To add section "7. Vringo vs. Asus"

Edited, October 23, 2015: To add sections "8. Ericsson vs. iBall", "9. Ericsson vs. Competition Commission of India", "10. Ericsson vs. Lava". To update "Ericsson vs. Micromax" from “Micromax has challenged……”

Edited, April 15, 2016: To update "9. Ericsson vs Competition Commission of India... In a judgement dated March 30, 2016, the court dismissed all the writ petitions and applications pertaining to the role of the CCI before it and made these observations:", "8. Ericsson vs iBall", "10. Ericsson vs. Lava", and "6. Vringo vs. ZTE".

Edited, April 29, 2016: To update "Ericsson vs. Xiaomi...On April 22, 2016, the Delhi High Court vacated the interim order passed in December 2014..."


Footnotes:

Nokia sues Apple over iPhone's use of patented wireless standards, AppleInsider.com, October 22, 2009, http://appleinsider.com/articles/09/10/22/nokia_sues_apple_over_iphones_use_of_patented_wireless_standards.html, Last accessed March 15, 2015.

China's Smartphone Sensation Xiaomi Says Sales Tripled in '14; Eyes More Int'l Growth, Russell Flannery, Forbes, March 1, 2015, Last accessed March 15, 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2015/01/03/chinas-smartphone-sensation-xiaomi-says-sales-doubled-in-14-eyes-more-intl-growth

In the High Court of New Delhi, CS(OS) 442/2013, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Publ) vs. Mercury Electronics and Anr., Indiankanoon.org, Paragraph 4, December 6, 2013, Last accessed March 15, 2015. http://indiankanoon.org/doc/90888012

In the High Court of New Delhi, CS(OS) 442/2013, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Publ) vs. Mercury Electronics and Anr., March 19, 2013, Last accessed March 15, 2015. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=57850&yr=2013

In the High Court of New Delhi, CS(OS) 442/2013, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Publ) vs. Mercury Electronics and Anr., November 12, 2014, Page 1 and 2, Last accessed March 15, 2015. http://lobis.nic.in/dhc/GSS/judgement/17-11-2014/GSS12112014S4422013.pdf

See footnote 5, Page 3, "The Net Selling Price means with respect to each company product sold by the company or any of its affiliates the Selling Price charged by the company or its affiliate for such company product unless such sale has not been made on arms [sic] length basis in which case the net selling price will be the selling price which the seller would realize from an unrelated buyer in an arms length sale of an equivalent product in an equivalent quantity and at the equivalent time and place as such sale."

Micromax Informatics Limited and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Publ), Competition Commission of India, Cci.gov.in, Case No. 50/2013, Paragraph 16, Page 7, November 12, 2013, Last accessed March 15, 2015. http://www.cci.gov.in/May2011/OrderOfCommission/261/502013.pdf "Ericsson has 33,000 patents…"

See footnote 4, Paragraph 3 A,B,C,D,E.

See footnote 7, Paragraph 8, Page 4

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In the High Court of New Delhi, LPA 1104 of 2011, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson vs Union of India and Others, July 13, 2012, Page 4 of 26, last accessed March 15, 2015. http://cis-india.org/a2k/blogs/ericsson-v-kingtech.pdf “On 30.3.2011, the respondent no.3 sent communication informing…”

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See footnote 17.

In the High Court of New Delhi, LPA 1104 of 2011, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson vs Union of India and Others, July 13, 2012, Page 12 of 26, last accessed March 15, 2015. http://cis-india.org/a2k/blogs/ericsson-v-kingtech.pdf “He thus submitted that there was no presumption of the validity of the patent…

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See footnote 23.

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See footnote 25. "It is agreed that besides framing issues, learned Single Judge would, in exercise of powers conferred under Section 115 of the Patents Act, appoint a scientific advisor to apprise the Court..." http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=241342&yr=2013

See footnote 25.

See footnote 25. "The appellants/ defendants shall file accounts in accordance with the learned Single Judge's directions at S. No.(iii) of the order dated 08.11.2013 and further sales till date, within four weeks from today. The appellants shall also file accounts and supporting material, including copies of Bills of Entry and Sale Invoices, and the relevant auditor's report for each quarter during the pendency of the suit."

Vringo provides update to shareholders, GlobeNewswire, September 2, 2014, last accessed April 2, 2015. http://inpublic.globenewswire.com/2014/09/02/VRINGO+PROVIDES+UPDATE+TO+SHAREHOLDERS+HUG1853040.html "On February 3, 2014, Vringo and Vringo Infrastructure filed a motion for contempt for ZTE's failure to comply with the Court's order, and requested that the Court order ZTE to pay an increased bond."

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See footnote 23. "The plaintiff No.2 was initially assigned the patent on 9th August, 2012 by virtue of a Confidential Patent Purchase Agreement granting rights, title and interest in the suit patent noted above, which was further transferred by the plaintiff No. 2 to plaintiff No.1."

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Paragraph 4."... the plaintiffs are alleging infringement of patent No.IN 200572..."
Paragraph 7."... It is alleged that the defendants are infringing the suit patent of the plaintiffs by manufacturing, importing, selling, offering for sale infrastructure equipment including Base Station Controller examples of which are Base Station Controllers bearing Nos.ZTE ZXG10 iBSC and ZTE ZXG10- BSCV2."

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See footnote 29. "ZTE subsequently appealed the injunction, which, on August 5, 2014, was vacated and replaced with an interim arrangement..."

See footnote 29.

See footnote 32, Paragraph 16. "In addition to this, they have also filed an affidavit of Mr. Regis J. Bates JR as an expert, who has categorically stated that the patent of the plaintiffs has been infringed by the defendants."

See footnote 32, Paragraph 23 to 27.

See footnote 32, Paragraph 44.

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See footnote 32, Paragraph 18.

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See footnote 29. "On April 15, 2014, in India, Vringo Infrastructure filed suit in the High Court of Delhi, New Delhi alleging infringement of a non-SEP patent."

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See footnote 29.

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In the High Court of New Delhi, I.A. No.17351/2015 in CS (OS) 2501/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v M/S Best IT World (India) Private Limited (iBall), September 2, 2015, Paragraph 15, http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/MAN/judgement/03-09-2015/MAN02092015S25012015.pdf, Last accessed October 23, 2015.

M/s Best IT World (India) Private Limited (iBall) and M/s Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (Publ) and M/s Ericsson India Private Limited, Competition Commission of India, Cci.gov.in, Case no. 04/2015, Paragraph 4 and 5, Page 3, May 12, 2015, http://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/042015_0.pdf, Last accessed October 23, 2015. “The Informant expressed its willingness to enter into GPLA...”

See footnote 1

M/s Best IT World (India) Private Limited (iBall) and M/s Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (Publ) and M/s Ericsson India Private Limited, Competition Commission of India, Cci.gov.in, Case no. 04/2015, Paragraph 6, Page 4, May 12, 2015, http://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/042015_0.pdf, Last accessed October 23, 2015. “...demanding unreasonably high royalties by way of a certain percentage value of handset...”

M/s Best IT World (India) Private Limited (iBall) and M/s Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson (Publ) and M/s Ericsson India Private Limited, Competition Commission of India, Cci.gov.in, Case no. 04/2015, Paragraph 12, Page 6, May 12, 2015, http://www.cci.gov.in/sites/default/files/042015_0.pdf, Last accessed October 23, 2015. “Accordingly, the relevant market to be considered in the instant case..”

In the High Court of New Delhi, I.A. No.17351/2015 in CS (OS) 2501/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v M/S Best IT World (India) Private Limited (iBall), September 2, 2015, Paragraph 8 and 9, http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/MAN/judgement/03-09-2015/MAN02092015S25012015.pdf, Last accessed October 23, 2015.

In the High Court of New Delhi, I.A. No.17351/2015 in CS (OS) 2501/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v M/S Best IT World (India) Private Limited (iBall), September 2, 2015, Paragraph 20-23, http://lobis.nic.in/ddir/dhc/MAN/judgement/03-09-2015/MAN02092015S25012015.pdf, Last accessed October 23, 2015.

Ibid.

In the High Court of New Delhi, W.P.(C) 5604/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v Competition Commission of India and Anr., Paragraph 4, May 27, 2015, Last accessed October 23, 2015. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=121125&yr=2015

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In the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, Shenzhen OnePlus Technology Co. Ltd. versus Vikas Jain and Others, CS(OS)3688/2014, December 1, 2014, http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=244776&yr=2014, last accessed April 4, 2015.

In the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, Micromax Informatics Ltd. versus Shenzhen OnePLus Technology Co. Ltd. and Others, CS(OS) 3761/2014, December 5, 2014, http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=254981&yr=2014, Last accessed April 4, 2015.

In the High Court of New Delhi, CS (OS) 442/2013, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v Mercury Electronics and Anr., July 7, 2015, http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=159031&yr=2015, Last accessed October 26, 2015.

Ibid.

Ibid.

dated 21.01.2014 and 17.02.2014. In the High Court of New Delhi, W.P.(C) 5604/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v Competition Commission of India and Anr., Paragraph 4, May 27, 2015, Last accessed October 23, 2015. http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=121125&yr=2015

In the High Court of New Delhi, CS (OS) 764/2015 and IAs No. 5768-70/2015 and IAs no. 5772-73/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v Lava International Pvt. Ltd., March 24, 2015, http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=64539&yr=2015, Last accessed October 26, 2015.

In the High Court of New Delhi, CS(OS) 764/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v Lava International Pvt. Ltd.,April 29, 2015,  http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=94810&yr=2015, Last accessed October 26, 2015.

In the High Court of New Delhi, CS(OS) 764/2015, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (PUBL) v Lava International Pvt. Ltd., February 22, 2016,  http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=52938&yr=2016, Last accessed April 17, 2016.

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