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Why are Oppo and OnePlus phones banned in Germany?

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new smartphone, you may have heard the news that Oppo and OnePlus phones have been banned from sale in Germany. 

We’ve put together this guide to explain why the ban is in place, who is involved and whether Oppo and OnePlus users outside of Germany should be concerned. 

Why are Oppo and OnePlus phones banned in Germany? 

Oppo and OnePlus phones have been banned from sale in Germany after a court ruled that the two phone makers hadn’t paid Nokia for the use of its 5G patents in the country. 

Both Oppo and OnePlus have been told they must halt all smartphone sales in Germany until they resolve the issue with Nokia. This has led to the two brands – both of which are subsidiaries of Chinese tech conglomerate, BBK Electronics Corporation – removing the option to purchase smartphones from their websites. 

Alternatively, the companies could remove the patented tech from future releases to prevent Nokia from filing another claim. Though they still wouldn’t be able to sell their current batch of smartphones without reimbursing the Finnish phone maker.

Thankfully, Oppo has reassured existing customers that they’ll still be able to receive updates and access support for Oppo handsets in Germany without facing any restrictions. This means that Oppo Find X5 Pro users won’t need to worry about trading in their phones if they reside in the country. 

What do the companies say?

“Two German Courts have ruled that OPPO is using Nokia’s patented technologies in its smartphones and is selling them illegally without a license”, commented Nokia when the ruling was announced. 

“Nokia has also been found to have acted fairly. The easiest way for OPPO to resolve this matter is to renew its license on fair terms”. 

We reached out to Oppo and OnePlus for comment. 

OnePlus responded with the following: 

“OnePlus diligently complies with the laws and regulations in all markets where we operate. As a leading technology brand, we recognize the importance of intellectual property in driving innovation and highly value fair access to essential patents. Nokia’s demand for an unreasonably high fee is detrimental to this effect.

“We are actively working with the relevant parties to resolve the ongoing legal matter. While sales and marketing of the relevant products are on hold, OnePlus remains committed to the German market and will continue our operations. Meanwhile, OnePlus users in Germany can continue to enjoy our products and related services such as regular software updates and our after-sales service as before”. 

We will update this page if we receive a response from Oppo. 

Will the ban extend outside of Germany?

It’s difficult to say whether other countries will implement their own bans, but this case does set an interesting precedent if Nokia (or another smartphone company) chooses to file a claim outside of Germany. 

Right now, there don’t appear to be any bans against Oppo or OnePlus caused by patent disputes outside of Germany.

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