Datawind claims Aakash copyright violation

U.K.-based vendor serves notice to manufacturing partner for violating intellectual property rights by agreeing to produce Aakash tablets for local institution directly, and selling device in open market, report says.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

United Kingdom-based tech vendor Datawind, the maker of India's low-cost Android tablet Aakash, alleges that contract manufacturer Quad Electronics had violated its copyright when the latter signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Rajasthan (IIT-Rajasthan) to develop the device.

The Economic Times on Sunday quoted Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli who alleged that its manufacturing partner had breached intellectual property (IP) rights when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Indian university directly to develop the next generation model of the tablet, as well as selling Aakash in the open market without permission.

He added that Quad had earlier signed a non-disclosure agreement and a manufacturing services agreement that confirmed Datawind's copyright ownership.

"Datawind's team internally developed Aakash and sub-contracted the assembly of Aakash tablet to Quad Electronics based on its own design. Therefore, the intellectual property rights of the tablet belong to Datawind," Tuli stated.

Datawind has since notified Quad of the violation and it will go to court to enforce its IP rights should if the issue "cannot be resolved", the CEO added.

Both Quad Electronics and IIT-Rajasthan did not respond to queries by The Economic Times.

Datawind is currently working on the second generation of the Aakash tablet, and will supply 100,000 tablets to IIT-Bombay, the report noted.

Earlier in February, Indian government authorities said the pilot run of the tablet project had missed expectations and announced plans to launch a new tender as well as proposing to raise the price of the next generation Aakash tablet to US$50 from the current US$35.

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