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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Aakash makers Datawind, Quad part ways

PTI  New Delhi, April 16, 2012
First Published: 17:54 IST(16/4/2012) | Last Updated: 18:32 IST(16/4/2012)

Datawind, the maker of the world's cheapest tablet Aakash, said it owns the copyright of the tablet and alleged that contract manufacturer Quad Electronics was violating its right by signing a direct agreement with IIT-Rajasthan for development of the device.

"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," Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said in a statement.

He claimed that Quad had signed a non-disclosure agreement and a manufacturing services agreement confirming this. "Quad Electronics breached Datawind's intellectual property, circumvented their relationship with IIT-Rajasthan, signed a direct MoU (memorandum of understanding) with them for development of next generation device and then sold off their inventory in the open market," Tuli said.

Quad Electronics and IIT-Rajasthan did not respond to emails sent for comments.

Tuli said that Datawind has sent a notice to company and will approach the court against violation of agreement by Quad Electronics. "We have served notice, and will file in court if it cannot be resolved," he said.

Datawind said that the company has paid Quad Electronics for all units delivered to Datawind, except for the 600 units that remain unpaid by IIT-Rajasthan. "Datawind's counter claim against Quad exceeds any amount due to them. There is no further payment due to Quad, contrary to their allegations," Tuli said. It was reported that a Quad executive had alleged that payment is due and it has served legal notice to Datawind.

Tuli said that it is working on the second generation of the Aakash tablet and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has announced in Parliament that DataWind will be supplying 1 lakh Aakash tablets through IIT-Bombay.

"In response to concern about tardy customer response. Datawind would like to state that their toll-free number is working but since it receives almost 40,000 calls per day, there is often a logjam resulting in incomplete calls," he said.

Tuli added that any person that has made a deposit, is responded to within 48 hours of receipt of payment and is provided a specific e-mail address and specific phone number to call for queries, instead of the toll-free number.


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