Many people are accusing certain Chinese brands of looking a lot like products from other manufacturers, the most common comparison is with Apple’s iPhone products. Design-wise there certainly are a lot of manufacturers in China which are inspired by Apple, Samsung or some other well-known companies. Some of them often step over the line and blatantly copy the design choices of other manufacturers, most of them actually, which is just… well, not right. We’re not here to talk about the design as much as patent violations, though the design might become an issue as well.
According to DigiTimes, Xiaomi, Coolpad, Meizu, Oppo and Vivo are bracing themselves for a possible patent violation notice. This is not actually all that surprising considering that Xiaomi is making waves with its sales. This company has been founded in 2010, has sold 19 million handsets last year and will cross the 60-million mark this year. Xiaomi also plans to sell over a 100 million devices in 2015 and also expand outside of Asia, not to mention this company is actually the number 1 OEM in China and 3rd worldwide. All of this actually makes the world’s biggest manufacturers worried, of course, and reportedly all of these companies have allegedly violated certain patents, they’re in for lawsuits. It is confirmed that Nokia, Microsoft and Ericsson are preparing to launch a patent violation battle against such brands soon.
Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE may also be in the same boat as the aforementioned Chinese companies, though these three actually hold a significant amount of patents and are thus more capable of defending themselves, they have a leverage, while companies like Xiaomi and Meizu really don’t. This was to be expected though, bigger companies didn’t exactly pay much attention to China’s smaller manufacturers, but considering the success of those brands lately, they sure feel threatened, especially by Xiaomi. The growth of this company is unbelievable and considering the planned expansions to Latin America, India, South-East Asia and Russia (Europe and the US are probably next in line after those expansions), other OEMs should be worried. It will be interesting to see how this will pan out in the end. We have no idea how bad those patent violations are, but companies like Xiaomi could have significant issues defending themselves if found guilty.