Xiaomi may face IPCom patent damages claim worth millions

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The patent has been fought over before and was at the centre of legal battles with HTC and Nokia in Germany

Xiaomi could be hit with a lawsuit for millions of pounds in damages if a threatened action against the vendor by patent firm IPCom goes ahead.

IPCom claims the Chinese vendor infringed its patent on software developed by Bosch that prioritises incoming and outgoing calls. IPCom owns Bosch’s mobile tech patent portfolio.

Alleged infringing devices include the: Mi A2 Lite, Mi 8 and Pocophone F1. Xiaomi smartphones can be purchased at high street retailers such as Carphone Warehouse and John Lewis.

IPCom managing director Pio Suh (right) told Mobile News that Xiaomi had been ignoring requests for an amicable outcome using a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) agreement, terms which would result in a voluntary licensing commitment.

“It has been surprising that Xiaomi has been ignoring us,” said Suh. “This problem can affect Xiaomi’s entire supply chain from vendors, importers distributors and retailers. What they don’t know is that they too can also be liable for Xiaomi’s patent infringement.”

He added: “We’re free to apply litigation at any time; we will do this as a last resort if we continue to be ignored.”

Xiaomi said only that it is “assessing the situation and will take all neccessary appropriate actions”.

Suh is an attorney who has been a member of the German Bar since 2006, with over a decade of legal experience specialising in intellectual property rights and communication technologies. He has worked in-house for IT companies including Qualcomm, Oracle and Philips.

The patent has been fought over before and was at the centre of legal battles with HTC and Nokia in Germany. IPCom has also won claims against HTC and Nokia in the UK Court of Appeals over the patent after years of battle. But in 2014, a German court threw out a similar claim, in which IPCom sought £1.3 billion in damages from Apple.

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