HMD Global today added a new trademark to its intellectual property registered at EU’s IP Office. The new trademark, alongside the protected “HMD Global” and “TARMO” trademarks, is, in fact, an old one. HMD has transferred the well known Asha brand to its portfolio.
The Asha trademark was originally published at EUIPO in November 2011, two years before Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s D&S division. The trademark transferred with the division under Microsoft ownership, but now, Asha is back in Finnish hands, this time under HMD’s ownership.
Asha series of devices consisted of feature phones and “Asha Touch” smartphones. The devices were nicely designed, in different form factors (QWERTY, too) and were quite popular in developing markets. Microsoft cancelled the Asha series because Asha competed with low end Lumia devices like Lumia 435.
If you remember, in October 2016 a Nokia Asha feature phone called Asha 308A leaked running a new Nokia Asha Software Platform for devices with T9 keyboard. The UI of the device was heavily inspired by Metro/Modern design and the device overall looked pretty solid, reminded me of Nokia 515. Microsoft, of course, cancelled it, but Nokia was working on a more advanced feature phone OS for phones with T9 keypad.
The transfer of ownership doesn’t necessarily mean that HMD will announce new devices under the Asha brand, but what’s the point of transferring the brand if not using it on devices. Maybe the rumored 4G feature phone under the model number TA-1047, that could feature a QWERTY keyboard as some speculate, will carry the Asha brand.