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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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RE: meh
By jonmcc33 on 12/22/2011 1:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
The trademark is not the product but the name. Transformer Prime is 99% similar to the Hasbro trademark of Optimus Prime, who is an Autobot Transformer.

RE: meh
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/22/2011 1:43:07 PM , Rating: 1
No it's not, not even close.

RE: meh
By marsovac on 12/22/2011 1:48:46 PM , Rating: 5
By your logic (paraphrasing):

"Almost the whole word from a registered trademark (which is a normal English word) in congruence with one of the words of another trademark should automatically make trademark infringement even if the product/company in question is not in the same category/market"

Microsoft has trademarks (IT sector):

"Visual Studio"

So by your logic a company called "Window Studio" which works in the industry business by producing windows should infringe on Microsoft trademarks...

The reference may seem obvious to us who know each company and their products, but there is no financial harm, to Hasbro. Financial harm is why trademarks exist.

C'mon, you very well know that won't pass in court.
It is a typical "hole in the law" that will be exploited by Asus to make gain.

But making more gain does not entitle Hasbro to take that money if that money was not supposed to get into their pockets at first glance when somebody bought the product.

If they manage to extort money to Asus, that would be bad for a free society because it would impose a precedent for big companies to rule how you compose sentences, by pushing new trademarks and using all the words in the dictionary in all of them.

That would eventually lead to new companies being unable to give a meaningful name to new brands.

Would you want that in a few hundred years product brands looked like this?

"gjkg675675 efg4r6"
"kuzrzi6t76 erg45"
"i7zu6t8 35t45" - oops invalid because "35t45" was already used by comapany X

RE: meh
By sviola on 12/22/11, Rating: 0
RE: meh
By rocketcuse on 12/22/2011 2:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
Have you heard of the Samsung Nexus Prime? I think you don't fully understand. Transformer is a basic word, like windows. transformer basically means to transform something into something. Example, a Transformer is... transfers an alternating current or voltage from one electric circuit to another, when used in the power industry. Hasbro definition, is to transform (ex..Optimus Prime)a ROBOT into a semi-truck. ASUS definition, is to transform a tablet to a notebook via a docking station. All three are different business units, with all three using the word transformer for a different meaning.

This nothing more than Hasbro feeling the financial pinch of the down economy and trying to make a fast buck.

Using YOUR logic, we wouldn't be able to call those clear panes on your house windows, because Microsoft trademarked windows!

RE: meh
By Subzero0000 on 12/22/2011 9:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
Have you heard of the Samsung Nexus Prime?

Do you realize they removed the word "Prime" and it is called "Samsung Galaxy Nexus" officially?

RE: meh
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/23/2011 9:47:54 AM , Rating: 2
And? Your point?

RE: meh
By Subzero0000 on 12/23/2011 7:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that's the wonder of marketing, to attract attentions.
It's pretty obvious that they use the name for free promotions.

Unless you don't watch movies, you should know that there have been 3 Transformers movies in the recent years, all done pretty well in box office.
It doesn't matter they are in different market, the third movie happens to be the same year (2011), those posters and trailers just boost the name further.

Asus marketing managers must be rocking their socks off when they come up with using the name. "Hey dude, the movie rocks and the name is really cool, it's gonna SOUNDS like our tablet can transform into robot!"

They get away with "Transformer" (without the "s"), but then add a "Prime" to it. That's just asking for trouble.

Even Galaxy Nexus removed the word "Prime" when released. There is no value to use the word "Prime", unless it's related to Transformers.

RE: meh
By jconan on 12/26/2011 4:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
even Amazon uses Prime for it's product/service Amazon Prime.

RE: meh
By Subzero0000 on 12/26/2011 9:56:09 AM , Rating: 2
Meh, Hello? Does Amazon use the word "Transformer"?
We are talking about Asus using Transformer + Prime, two words together.
Is it really that hard for you to understand?

Please give it some thought before commenting, thanks.

RE: meh
By nafhan on 12/22/2011 3:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Interestingly, As of April, 2010, "Transformers Prime" IS owned by Hasbro: ( BUT, it's in the context of
--toy action figures; toy vehicles; toy robots covertible into other visual toy forms; board games; parlor games
--entertainment services, namely, an on-going animated television series in the field of children's entertainment

The word transformer by itself has 235 results:

What a mess... someone might have a claim against Asus, but I really don't see how Hasbro or the "Transformers" brand have been harmed in any meaningful way by a nice, yet only marginally successful tablet.

RE: meh
By rocketcuse on 12/22/2011 2:45:39 PM , Rating: 3
How is it close? Hasbro is transformerS (with an S)and Optimus Prime.

ASUS is transformer (NO s at the end)and Prime (NO Optimus precursor).

maybe the power companies will join the suit, after all, they used the word transformer and transformers LONG before Hasbro and ASUS did. Guess what? They all mean the same! They transform something into something.

RE: meh
By Fritzr on 12/22/2011 9:40:50 PM , Rating: 1
Add to that the possibility that Hasbro may well follow Leapfrog into the 'toy' computer tablet business. As it is Asus has introduced a tablet with branding that uses the Hasbro trademark in a manner intended to confuse anyone familiar with the cartoon series that Hasbro has a license from.

Can you just imagine the legal fun and games if Hasbro introduced THEIR new Transformer Tablet. Hasbro owns the rights to the trademark...It would be a Hasbro product using the licensed would also be directly in conflict with the Asus product branding. The lawyers would love it as Hasbro can legally release a Hasbro Transformers Prime tablet and cite their licensing agreement with the owners of the cartoon :D

The question for the courts is not "Does Hasbro sell a computer tablet" instead the question is "Does Asus infringe on a trademark that can be used for a future Hasbro product". The answer to the second question is yes. Whether Hasbro will put a tablet computer on the market (Leapfrog has shown that they can succeed) is irrelevant.

Actually nonfunctional toy computers have been available for some time now. So between the existing nonfunctional toys and the proven market for functional toys, there is plenty of room for Hasbro to compete directly with Asus.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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