Asus is in for a rude shock in India following a Delhi High Court ruling that has barred the company from selling any smartphone bearing the name Zen or ZenFone in the country. This comes on the back of a complaint filed by the company Zen which said they own the trademark over the term ‘Zen’, which makes it illegal for any other company to use the same term without their explicit permission.
Zen sells feature phones as well as low-cost smartphones and has said in its complaint the use of the term Zen by any other company hurts the prospects of its own products. The company has been selling phones in India since its inception in 2009.
Asus, on its part, argued the term Zen originates from the Buddhist philosophy and has a spiritual base to it, which makes it more of a generic term that applies to all. The court, however, didn’t seem impressed by the logic claiming Asus itself had applied for a patent for ZenFone, which sort of nullifies the company’s claim of it being generic in nature.
The court ruled Asus won’t be able to sell any smartphone, tablets, accessories or any related stuff bearing the name Zen or ZenFone in the country from July 23. The timing of the ruling couldn’t have been more distressing either given that the company has been busy with the launch of its latest Flagship phone, the ZenFone 6 in India.
Asus, however, said all phones or tablets that they have sold in India and bearing the name ZenFone will be fully supported while all obligations towards the products will also be adhered to in its entirety. The company also said their legal team is working on the issue. The next date of hearing has been fixed on July 10th.
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The company has time till then to either cook up something more interesting in its defence of the term ZenFone to impress the courts or think of using some other term to describe its products. The latter option, however, would still be a setback considering that the company’s ZenFone Max and ZenFone series has gained a lot of traction in the country and has been selling in respectable numbers.