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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12/23/2011 6:32:47 AM
I think alot of it is that you now have brands which are fairly big like Asus which upto now were not well known to the public and could get away with creative use of names in a predominantly Asian market whcih has little time for intellectual property laws.
Anyone around a certain age (31 in my case) who grew up with the Transformers cartoon in the 80's and their subsequent spin-offs immediately thinks of them when you see the word 'Transformer' to then go and tack on Prime, as well as frankly being rather tacky me-too marketing, is obviously going to attract the ire of Hasbro, as that is one of their biggest properties.
The concept of Hasbro licensing a laptop/tablet is not that crazy either, as they have licensed a range of transforming USB sticks, mice etc for PC's in the past.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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