​It's raining lawsuits in India: Micromax and OnePlus face off in battle of the Cyanogens

After the Ericsson-Xiaomi fracas, this is the second lawsuit between phone makers in less than a month in India.

Just when you were done reading about Ericsson stopping the Xiaomi juggernaut in its tracks, another lawsuit between rival smartphone makers has dominated headlines in India in the last few days. This time, it's a confrontation between Indian phone giant Micromax and Chinese company Shenzhen OnePlus Technology.

OnePlus' Cyanogen smartphone

Late last week, Micromax filed a lawsuit against OnePlus, stopping it from selling its line of phones featuring Cyanogen software. (Cyanogen software is based on the Android operating system, and has gained traction because of its popular customisation possibilities over stock Android.) Apparently, Micromax has an exclusive deal with Cyanogen that prevents anyone else in South Asia from flogging phones with this software on it. The complication is that Cyanogen had also signed a non-exclusive global agreement (barring China, but including India) with OnePlus many months ago. Cynaogen claims that Micromax's agreement supersedes the one with OnePlus.

Based on the information that has been reported so far, if I were the Chinese phone company, I would be very, very annoyed with Cyanogen and the nature of the deals it has gotten into. The Indian court seems to think the same way. According to The Economic Times, the bench hearing the case was critical of the US-based company for signing these confusing and contradictory agreements.

"Your client [Cyanogen] did not show fairness to either Micromax or Shenzhen. If this is how you want to proceed, that is wrong," said the Delhi High Court to Cyanogen's legal counsel. But that didn't stop it from banning OnePlus from further sales. However, OnePlus has apparently been given the go-ahead to sell its entire stock of Cyanogen phones, which are available on Amazon.

Micromax's Yu

But OnePlus isn't ready to roll over and play dead as yet. Just yesterday, it told the Delhi High Court that its version of Cyanogen, CM11S, is different from the one that Micromax has been using, and this wasn't brought to the notice of the judge who had ruled on the case.

Lawsuits apart, both phones are currently available in the market, and OnePlus can take a tiny bit of comfort from the fact that tech review blogs such as First Post seem to prefer the OnePlus phone over the Micromax Yu Yureka, stating that "it's one of the best smartphones we've seen this year, and definitely the better of the two Cyanogen smartphones".

That said, the OnePlus Indian handset will not be receiving any Cyanogen updates. The Yureka, on the other hand, will not only get updates, but also has a great warranty service, and comes with a ton of features and services at less than half the price of the OnePlus One.