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Nokia wins legal battle over license fees; Germany’s ban on smartphone sales may be followed by other EU countries

BERLIN: Germany bans sales of Oppo and OnePlus smartphones over patent dispute. The reason behind the ban is a patent dispute between Finnish technology company Nokia and the Chinese smartphone makers. Nokia has further lawsuits against BBK group in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, France, Finland, and Sweden.

Experts believe that other European Union countries will soon impose a similar ban.

One of the most prominent early mobile phone makers, Nokia has tons of patents in its arsenal. This is becoming a major headache for many Chinese smartphone makers.

Earlier this year, the Mannheim District Court in Germany ruled in favour of Nokia, concluding that Oppo and OnePlus lacked valid licences for the 5G technology used in their smartphones. The court then ordered both parties to reach a licencing fee settlement, failing which the court would be forced to impose a sales ban on Oppo smartphones. Time was allotted for this until August 5, however the case was not settled. As a result, the sale of both phones had to be banned, as confirmed by the websites of both companies.

Licensing fees cost €2.50 per smartphone sold, which phone companies argue is too high. Given how low profit margins both Oppo and OnePlus operate in Europe, the fee would have taken a significant portion out of their profits. To address this, the phone’s price will have to increase, causing a market backlash. That is why they have not reached a licensing deal.

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