The owner of Vivo, BBK Electronics, is in the mids of a legal battle with Nokia about using each other's patents. In a blog post on Vivo's Web site, it claims to be unable to work it out with Nokia and what consequences that may have. One of them is to stop selling phones in large parts of Europe.
Recently, a rumor surfaced that Vivo would withdraw from the European market. Vivo quickly refuted that news, but that did quit the rumors. And not without reason. In particular, the licensing of several Nokia patents about using 4G technology. In short, Vivo is warning it might not resolve this issue with Nokia.
According to Vivo, it's not their fault. The Chinese company claims that Nokia is not offering a fair and reasonable deal. In the meantime, the court has also looked at the dispute and ruled in favor of Nokia. Vivo is now investigating the consequences and promises to appeal if it sees grounds to do so. It also says it will continue to negotiate with Nokia. Should all of that fail, discontinuing its phone sales in parts of Europe is a real possibility.
Rare but not unique
Phone manufacturers usually agree on the use of each other patents or license them for a sum of money. This mainly works out, but now and then, they disagree. Subsequent withdrawal from a market is a relatively rare but not unique consequence. For example, Wiko left the Dutch market because of a dispute with Philips.
Other European countries
As mentioned, Vivo is part of BBK Electronics, which owns Oppo, OnePlus, realme, and iQOO. An earlier ruling made BBK stop selling Oppo and OnePlus phones in Germany. In addition, Nokia has sued BBK in numerous European countries, including France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Finland. As a result, there is also a risk of halting sales in those countries.