The popular OnePlus One has been banned in India just two weeks after going on sale. Local smartphone maker Micromax was able to secure an injunction against the device after it violated the company’s exclusive partnership with Cyanogen, Inc.
The One is one of a small few Android smartphones that ship with the CyanogenMod operating system — or at least a slightly modified version of it — pre-installed. In most markets, that’s seen as a major selling point, but it has become a problem in India.
Micromax already has an exclusive partnership with Cyanogen that means no other manufacturer can distribute devices running CyanogenMod in India. This wasn’t revealed until earlier this month when OnePlus launched its first smartphone there, but the startup has since taken steps to resolve the issue.
OnePlus has confirmed that it is working on a new operating system for devices sold in India, and that it will not be releasing any CyanogenMod updates to customers based there. But in the meantime, it is continuing to ship the One with CM11S.
What’s more, the One also carries a Cyanogen logo on its back. This violates Micromax’s agreement with the software maker, and as a result, the Delhi High Court has banned all sales and advertising of the One in India.
“Micromax incurred major expenses for creation of a brand exclusivity for providing to Indian customers mobile phones with Cyanogen operating systems,” the company said in its filing. “It would suffer irreparable harm and loss if the defendants (OnePlus) are permitted to continue with their illegal acts in violation of the agreement between Micromax and Cyanogen.”
The whole fiasco could cause issues between OnePlus and Cyanogen, which both agreed a non-exclusive deal back in February that gave OnePlus permission to distribute Cyanogen’s software on its devices in every country except China. However, now Cyanogen says its agreement with Micromax supersedes all prior agreements made with OnePlus.
Theoretically, OnePlus could sue Cyanogen for breach of contract, but that would have to happen in California where the deal was made.
There is some good news for OnePlus, though; the company is being allowed to clear its existing inventory of devices in India, so those that have already been imported into the country can be sold. If it wishes to sell more after that, it will need to remove the Cyanogen branding and install new software.