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ASUS Transformer Prime tablet  (Source:

Optimus Prime  (Source:
Hasbro claims that the name of ASUS' latest tablet, Transformer Prime, is much too similar to its line of Transformers toys

The battle is on: ASUS' Transformer Prime v.s. Transformers' Optimus Prime.

Toy maker Hasbro filed a lawsuit against computer manufacturer ASUS last week, claiming that the name of ASUS' latest tablet, Transformer Prime, is much too similar to its line of Transformers toys.

"Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brands and products and the specific actions we are taking today against ASUS underscores yet again Hasbro's willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain," said Hasbro.

Hasbro filed the lawsuit last week in Los Angeles federal court, and is seeking damages as well as a temporary injunction to stop ASUS from selling its Transformer Prime tablet.

The situation isn't looking good for Hasbro at this point. While ASUS' Transformer Prime tablet does sound similar to Hasbro's leader of the Autobots, Transformer's Optimus Prime, the possibility of a child (or anyone) confusing the two is slim. The Transformer Prime doesn't convert into a truck, and the Transformer toys don't offer the Android operating system with apps and Web-browsing capabilities.

However, the Transformer Prime does attach to a keyboard dock. Does that qualify it as a Transformer?

The Transformer Prime features a 10-inch screen, NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 8 MP rear camera with a f/2.4 lens and back-illuminated sensor along with a 1.2 MP front-facing camera, 12-hour battery life, and Android 3.2 Honeycomb mobile operating system. It's priced at $499 for 32 GB and $599 for 64 GB.


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Why ban it?
By Paedric on 12/22/2011 11:32:02 AM , Rating: 2
While the lawsuit makes sense, why would Hasbro want to ban the tablet?
Wouldn't it be better for them to ask for royalties on each device sold?

I'm not really into conspiracy, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a competitor backing Hasbro here.

RE: Why ban it?
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/22/2011 11:51:23 AM , Rating: 1
Likeeeeeeeeeee? Hmmm? I have a thought....

RE: Why ban it?
By ppardee on 12/22/2011 12:24:00 PM , Rating: 4
In trademark law there is a concept of dilution. Since they have a relatively weak trade mark (transformer was a word before they used it), they can't afford to have it used outside of the context of their brand any more than necessary. If they don't fight this, they may lose the right to fight other infringements.

Or they could just be feeling litigious.

RE: Why ban it?
By GatoRat on 12/22/2011 1:10:12 PM , Rating: 1
Because that's how these lawsuits work. Hasbro has to defend its trademark else it may lose it. They need to get ASUS to stand up and notice. They can't simply say, "you're using our trademark to your advantage, please stop, pretty please."

(And you know damn well than ASUS is piggy backing on the notoriety of the Transformer trademark. They decided to push the envelope with "Prime" and got snagged. ASUS knew this would happen and very likely already has an alternate name picked out. If they were surprised, their marketing people and lawyers are really dumb.)

RE: Why ban it?
By sviola on 12/22/2011 1:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
I would suspect that they already have money to do a deal with Hasbro. They were only testing the limits they could go with it. I won't be surprised if the next Tranformer laptop from asus uses the toy logo.

RE: Why ban it?
By jconan on 12/26/2011 3:38:21 AM , Rating: 2
Well hopefully ASUS and Hasbro can come up a new logo for Asus as Asus definitely seems to need a new one.

RE: Why ban it?
By sviola on 12/22/2011 1:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think there is any conspiracy at all. Requesting the ban will force Asus to settle sooner than a long judicial process would take.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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