A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has reportedly issued an interim Injunction against Xiaomi Inc. of China with regard to their “Mi” branded Mobile devices currently on sale in the Nigerian market via various retailers.
The Plaintiffs, Mi-Fone International DMCC together with Rosa Holdings Ltd., filed Suit No. FHC/L/CS/235/2016, alleging that they are the holders of the Mi registered Trademarks in Nigeria and across Africa. The Plaintiffs also allege that they are the owners of Mi-Fone, which was established in 2008 and that the company subsequently registered the Mi trademarks in the relevant classes in Nigeria.
— iAfrikan (@iafrikan) March 17, 2016
Speaking about the case and the injunction, Alpesh Patel, Founder of Mi-Fone, stated “ One should always do proper research before entering new markets….We are a proud African brand and we will do what needs to be done to protect our African heritage. This interim injunction should give hope to many African brands out there who have taken the required steps to protect their intellectual property”.
Xiaomi is no stranger to law suits upon arrival in new markets. For example, on its arrival into the Indian market, it was met with a patent complaint from Ericsson.
The Injunction in Nigeria was issued by Honorable Justice I.N. Buba of Federal High Court in Lagos. Also included as Defendants are Mobile in African Limited, MIA Group and Ecart Internet Services Limited.