The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued an interim order on Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS that restrains the company from selling its products under ‘Zen’ branding. The move comes after ASUS was found infringing trademark rights after a lawsuit filed by Delhi-based Telecare Network claiming that it is the registered owner of Zen and ZenMobiles.
According to Bar and Bench, the Zen trademark was initially filed by Telcare Network back in 2008 for selling feature phones, smartphones, tablets, and accessories. ASUS entered the Indian market later in 2014 with its ZenFone Android smartphones. The company also later introduced ZenBook laptops in India.
The lawsuit stated that the use of Zen branding by ASUS could cause confusion in the minds of consumers who could perceive that the two brands are associated. The case also claimed that ASUS had adopted an identical trademark in the form of ZenFone for selling its own smartphones, which are allegedly identical to those sold by Telecare Network India Pvt Ltd under its own brand. However, ASUS argued that there was no scope of confusion between ZenFone branding and ZenMobile as the former comes with the well-known registered house mark of ASUS globally. Furthermore, the company added that the word ‘Zen’ is a common trade name and is generic in nature. However, the court did not side with ASUS on this.
Therefore, ASUS has been asked to halt sales of all its products that carry the ‘Zen’ branding. The company can still go back to the court with a valid argument or solution to get the ban lifted. The next hearing on the matter is on July 10.
ASUS responded to the order with the following statement: “The ASUS legal team is currently working with the Delhi High Court in India to resolve the Zen Mobiles and ZenFone trademark lawsuit. The supply of ASUS smartphones, notebooks, and other products, as well as technical support and after-sales service for all ASUS products remain unchanged for all consumers.:
The move comes at a difficult time for ASUS, given that the brand is preparing to launch its upcoming flagship phone, the Zenfone 6 in the country.