Vivo ready to stop Germany sales over Nokia row - Mobile World Live

Vivo ready to stop Germany sales over Nokia row

13 APR 2023

Smartphone player Vivo announced it had prepared to suspend the sale of its products in Germany if necessary, after a court in the country ruled in favour of Nokia in a patent case against the Chinese company.

In a press release, Vivo stated it was disappointed with the decision of the district court of Mannheim, which decided that as negotiations regarding licensing fees had failed, Vivo would be forced to cease selling smartphones in the country if they included technology patented by Nokia.

Vivo and Nokia had a licensing agreement in place until 2021, but the deal has not been renewed, leading to the court action.

Fellow manufacturers Oppo and OnePlus currently do not sell their smartphones in Germany, also due to patent rows with Nokia.

FRAND terms
In its statement, Vivo said it had entered into cross-licensing agreements with numerous companies in recent years, and it had negotiated with Nokia about renewing its partnership, but had not been able to reach an agreement.

“We firmly believe that Nokia has not yet fulfilled its obligations to offer a licence on FRAND (fair reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms,” it added.

Vivo continued to state it was preparing to appeal the court’s decision, as well as reviewing options, in addition to resuming negotiations with Nokia.

Despite stating it would pull out of Germany if necessary, its long-term plans for the market are “unchanged” and customers could continue to rely on its service.

In response, Nokia stated the court in Germany had found the vendor had acted fairly, and the judgement confirms the strength of its patent portfolio.

A Nokia spokesperson added it was calling for “Vivo to accept its obligations and agree a license on fair terms”.



Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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