Published: Thu, June 06, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Indian court bans ASUS from selling products with ZenFone branding

Indian court bans ASUS from selling products with ZenFone branding

Asus is now arguing the ruling in court and has a scheduled hearing on July 10.

The Delhi court announced the ruling as Telecare Network, a company in India has complained that it has been using Zen and ZenMobile as its product monikers since 2008.

The hearing's outcome came in favour of Telecare Network, and Asus was restrained from selling or advertising smartphones or accessories under the Zen or Zenfone brand.

Initially, the mobile website of Asus had the June 19 date and Flipkart logos on its homepage, but now those are omitted and there is only the vague “coming soon” on the product page.

Countering this submission, Asus said that that there was no scope of confusion or deception in the minds of the consumers as the mark ZenFone was coupled with its well-known registered house mark Asus, thereby identifying the source and origin of their products.

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It is important to note that this is an interim order from HC and Asus still has a chance to go back to the court with a valid solution or argument to get the ban removed. The company also introduced the ZenBook series of Windows ultrabooks later on.

Asus is arguing that Zen is a common term from Buddhism and can be used by anyone, not just by one company.

Asus has since been restricted to sell or advertise, directly or indirectly, any products like mobile phones, phone accessories, or related merchandise with the ZenFone or Zen branding.

The Delhi Court, in its ruling concluded that "a word may be generic qua a specific business or trade or industry but not across the board for all business or trades or industries".

The bench also added that, "Consequently the defendants (Asus) having adopted a deceptively similar mark wherein the dominant part of the defendant's mark ZenFone is the plaintiff's (Telecare) mark Zen, for the same product i.e. mobile phones, shows prima facie that there is a likelihood of confusion and damage to the plaintiff's goodwill", the bench added. However, Telecare Network contended that similar names of the same product may cause confusion for the customers.

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