In a major setback for the promoters of Micromax, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued bailable warrants against three of them — Sumeet Kumar, Rahul Sharma and Vikas Jain — in a matter of contempt on its earlier order of November 2014 relating to payment of royalty to Swedish firm Ericsson on the sale of its handsets. It also restrained Micromax’s subsidiary YU Televentures from importing and selling mobile handsets and other devices that infringe Ericsson’s registered patents without paying royalty. Justice Najmi Waziri observed that
YU Televentures was liable to pay Ericsson the same royalties as Micromax and posted the matter for further hearing on December 15, when the promoters need to be present.
The development assumes significance as it comes after a series of orders by the court on the issue of patents where domestic handset makers have been found to be using technology and equipment of foreign technology providers like Ericsson but desisting from paying any royalty. When contacted for comments, a Micromax spokesperson said, “We have not received any order, hence cannot comment on it. In case there is anything, we will take necessary legal recourse.”
Last November, in a patent row between Ericsson and Micromax, the court had ordered the latter to pay royalty to the former that amounted to 1 per cent of the selling price of its devices for using its patents on technologies that are essential to manufacture the products. The interim order holds until December 31, 2015, the deadline set by the court to conclude the trial.
However, Ericsson had recently approached the court saying Micromax was not paying the royalty by selling the handsets through a separate company floated by it and arguing that the order pertained to Micromax and not the entity through which the devices were being sold. This contention of Micromax was rejected by the court while issuing the bailable warrants. FE