TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The High Court of Delhi ruled last month that ASUS no longer has the right to use its renowned Zenfone brand name in India due to an alleged trademark infringement request made by Indian mobile phone producer Telecare Network.
At the regular shareholders meeting held on Tuesday (June 18), ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih (施崇棠), who will be flying to India for the launch of the company’s latest model Zenfone 6, said it will be rebranded as ASUS 6Z to avoid the alleged trademark infringement.
“We believe our customers will accept the new name. It won’t be a problem,” Shih said. He added that ASUS was sued by its competitor because it was performing well in India’s e-commerce market.
According to ASUS, it achieved an 8 percent share in India’s mobile phone e-commerce market for the first quarter this year. It estimates that its total market share is around 3 to 3.5 percent, catching up on Transsion, which ranked fifth with a 4.5 percent market share.
High Court of Delhi ruled in favor of the Indian mobile phone maker Telecare Network, which registered the trademark “Zen” and “ZenMobile” in 2008, long before ASUS entered the market in 2014. Although ASUS appealed the case, it still decided to enter the market with the new name ASUS 6Z.
ASUS is facing tremendous losses after initiating a strategic transformation of its mobile phone business over the past two years. The combined revenues of ASUS dropped 10 percent in 2018, and operating income dropped 78 percent.
The mobile phone unit posted a reorganization expense of NT$6 billion (US$192 million) in the fourth quarter, for total losses of NT$14.2 billion (US$453 million).
There were even rumors that ASUS would leave the mobile phone market. Even so, the Taiwan and European market reacted enthusiastically to the newly announced Zenfone 6 model in May.
Shih apologized to shareholders for the losses during the shareholders meeting but emphasized the importance of the company’s mobile phone business in the coming AIoT (artificial intelligence + internet of things) era. He said the company must consider its long-term strategy instead of focusing on short-term profits.