ONEPLUS SETTLES ITS OS DISPUTE, INDIAN PHONE OWNERS TO RECEIVE UPDATES
OnePlus One has resolved its legal dispute over exclusive rights with Cyanogen by “mutual consent”. The dispute was filed in the Delhi High Court by Micromax complaining that they had an exclusive license agreement with Cyanogen for the Cyanogen Operating System (that also powers the OnePlus One) in a few South Asian countries. Micromax argued therefore that OnePlus was not entitled to use the operating system on OnePlus One units sold in this region.
Interestingly, Cyanogen founder Steve Kondik had recently told that it is parting ways with OnePlus since both the companies “ultimately had different goals for its software”, due to which there were “collisions between personalities”. OnePlus however has told ETtech that they will “continue to work with Cyanogen for all future updates.”
In December, OnePlus had been restrained by the Delhi High Court from shipping or selling its Smartphone’s in India, after Micromax had complained that OnePlus had infringed on its exclusive rights by launching OnePlus One in India. Micromax had signed a three year exclusive licensing deal with Cyanogen for South Asia region in mid-2014 while OnePlus had a non-exclusive global licensing deal with Cyanogen.
Interestingly, this injunction had come just a day before Micromax launched its first Cyanogen-based smartphone Yu Yureka in India. The company had claimed at the time that it had incurred “major expenses for creating a brand exclusivity to Indian customers mobile phones with Cyanogen operating systems” and it will “suffer irreparable harm and loss if the defendants are permitted to continue with their illegal acts in violation of the agreement between Micromax and Cyanogen”.
Court documents at the time however had showed that Cyanogen had repeatedly changed its stand on its partnership with OnePlus and had also flip flopped on providing software updates to OnePlus One.
A week later, Delhi High Court had lifted the ban on the sale of OnePlus handsets, allowing the Smartphone maker to resume importing the handsets to its country. The company currently sells its handsets exclusively on Amazon India.
With the immense popularity of the device, this is definitely a welcome move. The exact terms of the settlement are unclear and this makes deciphering the legal arrangement between the parties all the more difficult, considering also the fact that Micromax has launched a phone in India based on the Cyanogen OS – the YU. This settlement throws up interesting questions as to the final status of the license and Micromax’s future course of action with the YU and some answers will be most welcome.