“China’s rising tech star Xiaomi has hit a snag in its plan to challenge Apple and Samsung,” Samuel Gibbs reports for The Guardian. “Its expansion into the fast growing Indian smartphone market has been halted by a patent dispute.”
“The Delhi High Court has ordered Xiaomi and its retail partner Flipkart to stop sales in India until 5 February, after Swedish telecoms company Ericsson filed a patent infringement suit against the Chinese manufacturer,” Gibbs reports. “Xiaomi is ‘restrained from manufacturing, assembling, importing, selling or advertising’ its smartphones in India according to court documents released to the Economic Times. Indian customs have been ordered to block the import of smartphones or other devices that potentially infringe on Ericsson patents until further notice.”
“The case will see a further hearing in February and could open Xiaomi up to additional patent disputes as it attempts to expand beyond China. It is the first patent challenge faced by the company, which has been criticised for its mimicry of rival products, and is described as ‘China’s Apple’ by industry watchers,” Gibbs reports. “Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive also recently hit out at Xiaomi’s alleged copying, dismissing suggestions of flattery saying ‘I think it is really straightforward. It is theft and it is lazy. I don’t think it is OK at all.'”
“But Xiaomi has made efforts to be more appealing to the west, hiring key executives from Google, including the outspoken Brazilian vice president of Android, Hugo Barra, who became Xiaomi’s head of international sales,” Gibbs reports. “‘Our designers, our engineers, are inspired by great products and by great design out there. And frankly who in today’s world isn’t?’ Barra said.
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MacDailyNews Take: Who in today’s world isn’t copying Apple? Obviously no one: