It’s hard to register a trademark without violating rights of another company. Even common words are registered, like “Apple”, and Microsoft had also issues with “SkyDrive”. Microsoft was forced to rename SkyDrive following a trademark case with British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB). The problem was the word “Sky” in the name of service. In some countries, there are registered trademarks and companies have to rename some of their products or services in specific countries. Something like this happened to ASUS in India, so in Indian market, ASUS had to rename its smartphone.
This case started Telecare Network company, which owns the trademarks “ZEN” and “ZENMOBILE” in the country. The company claimed that it had been using “ZEN” and “ZENMOBILE” in its product branding since 2008, and ASUS’s smartphone was introduced in India in 2014. Another issue is the fact, that both brands sell similar devices at similar price points. ASUS argued that its ZenFone brand was inspired by founder Jonney Shih’s belief in the Zen philosophy and that the ZenFone name is known to be associated with ASUS, but that was not enough, Delhi court ruled in favor of Telecare Network.
Since July 23, ASUS can no longer sell, offer or advertise its products under brand Zen or ZenFone. ASUS still has a chance at the next hearing on July 10, but probably it won’t change anything, and ASUS will be forced to eliminate Zen-branded products in India. ASUS already rebranded its Zen products in India, for example, “ZenFone 6” is called “ASUS 6z”.