Nokia has won the lawsuit, brought against the Chinese company Vivo in Germany, relating to the exploitation of patented technologies necessary for the implementation of the 4G and 5G standards.
Vivo expressed its disappointment with the decision, accusing Nokia of failing to fulfill its obligation to offer a license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (so-called “FRAND”), but is now forced to stop selling its products through the official channels in Germany.
«We have read with disappointment the decision of the district court of Mannheim and have prepared to suspend the sale and marketing of the affected products through the official channels of Vivo Germany, if necessary. We are preparing to appeal the decision and will examine other options. In the meantime, we will continue negotiations with Nokia», Vivo’s official statement reads.
The lawsuit concerns a Nokia patent – considered essential for the 4G (LTE) and 5G mobile communication standards – which describes a method for assigning frequencies when accessing mobile radio networks.
The court’s decision will remain unchanged unless an agreement is reached between the parties.
«Our plans for a long-term commitment to the German market remain unchanged. Vivo will continue to be present in Germany in the future and our customers can continue to rely on our service. There is no impact on our business outside Germany», concludes the press release of the Chinese company.
The ruling follows the similar one issued in August 2022, when Nokia’s victory in Germany resulted in the Chinese company Oppo being banned from selling its smartphones in the German market. Again, the dispute concerned the licenses for 4G and 5G technologies, the terms of which were deemed unreasonable in relation, above all, to Oppo’s revenues from the sales of its devices in Germany. Both Oppo and Vivo are part of the same group, namely BBK Electronics, which also manages the Realme and iQOO brands.
However, Nokia is also pursuing the same lawsuit in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden, according to a report by the German financial newspaper WirtschaftsWoche, which suggested that «if these courts follow the German verdict, Oppo could completely leave Western Europe».