If you were to head to Germany right now, you might find that Oppo, one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world, isn’t actually being sold in stores there; OnePlus is similarly missing in Germany. And from the looks of it, fellow BBK Electronics subsidiary Vivo is set to follow suit if they lose an upcoming court battle with Nokia.
Vivo Germany had issued a short press release, highlighting the situation they find themselves in. Essentially, it’s the same one that Oppo and OnePlus fell foul of last year when the Chinese giant was found to be infringing on Nokia’s patents after an initial licensing deal had lapsed. According to Vivo, they have been negotiating with Nokia about renewing their deal with the Finnish brand, but at the moment have not been able to reach an agreement.
Furthermore, it looks like Vivo Germany is holding Nokia responsible for the licensing deal stalling, stating that they believe Nokia has yet to offer them a license that’s fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. This doesn’t stop the German courts from taking note of the situation though, and with Vivo technically using Nokia’s patents without a license at the moment, the District Court of Mannheim has ruled that Vivo will be forced to halt all smartphone business in Germany until a licensing deal is achieved.
As such, Vivo Germany states that they have already made preparations to suspend the sale and marketing of their smartphones through official channels if and when necessary. They do however plan to appeal the decision and will also review any other options they may have. Vivo Germany claims they’ll still be negotiating with Nokia in the meantime.
With Vivo set to join Oppo and OnePlus is putting their business on hold in Germany unless a deal is struck, rumours continue that the three BBK Group giants are looking at a wider withdrawal from not just Germany but also from Europe. It was just last month that Oppo had to come out and deny reports that they were planning to leave Europe, and specifically stated that they remain committed to their existing European markets, which Germany isn’t at the moment.