Hasbro Sues ASUS Over "Transformer" Trademark
December 22, 2011 11:08 AM
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ASUS Transformer Prime tablet
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
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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12/22/2011 9:40:50 PM
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 branding...it 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.
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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