While the horizon seemed to darken for Oppo in France, the Chinese telephony giant has just scored an important point in its legal battle against Nokia.
Oppo has not yet left the French technological landscape, despite the end of Oppo France. Represented by its official distributor, Yang Technology, Oppo went through months of rumors and testimonies until the official announcement of its cessation of activity.
A decision that did not come as a surprise, given the scarcity of Oppo devices on sale on the French market and the absence of the launch of its latest models in France. We had also interviewed various partners of Oppo France who had confirmed the disengagement in France.
Despite this turning point, Oppo ensures the continuity of its after-sales service. Users will be able to continue to use Oppo products, access after-sales services, or receive future operating system updates.
What happened ?
Let’s go back to the events that led to this situation. In 2022, Oppo lost a crucial lawsuit in Germany, relating to two patents filed by Nokia Technologies Oy. In short, Nokia presented Oppo with an ultimatum: “pay or stop your activity”. Oppo lost this lawsuit and therefore withdrew from the German market.
Subsequently, Nokia initiated several legal actions in various countries, including Russia, India and France. These lawsuits have put Oppo France and its official distributor, Yang Technology, in a delicate situation, forcing them to slow down or even halt their activity, although the complaints had not yet been successful. You know the rest: Yang Technology has announced that it has ceased its activity, which means that Oppo devices are no longer officially distributed in France.
A victory for Oppo in France
The situation took a new turn with the deliberations of the Paris court. Oppo, represented by Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd, Yang Technology, Artech Mobiles and OnePlus Technology (Shenzhen) Co.succeeded in repelling the two complaints from Nokia in France concerning patents EP1704731 and EP1702486.
Contradicting an injunction previously put in place by the German courts, the Court of Justice of Paris (TJP) invalidated these patents. They were judged to be without novelty, a decision synonymous with a nightmare for any company holding a patent.
A new future for Oppo in France?
Despite these obstacles, nothing formally prevents Oppo from continuing to operate in France. The brand could thus find a new distributor or launch its own subsidiary.. Nevertheless, this situation constitutes a considerable loss for Yang Technology, which has worked for the development of the Oppo brand in France since its inception.
Faced with such an unprecedented situation, there are many questions. The specialized website fosspatents.com even goes so far as to question the impartiality of German judges. The highlighting of various court decisions that are very penalizing for Chinese companies has fueled doubts about the fairness of the German judicial system in these patent cases.
Another point of contention lies in the very nature of the patent that got Oppo into trouble in Germany. Contrary to what one might think, this is not a patent related to 4G or 5G technologies, but a patent describing a Wi-Fi feature. The patent states that “If you know a Wi-Fi network will tell you if it’s currently available, don’t ask if it’s currently available. This patent can also be viewed here.
This court ruling, based on such a questionable patent, raises questions about the validity and fairness of the current patent system in Germany and more broadly in Europe. This Oppo-Nokia case has not finished talking about it and could well lead to major changes in the technological landscape, both in France and on a European scale.
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