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ASUS Transformer Prime
The judge ruled that there was nothing "gimmicky" about the Eee Pad Transformer or Transformer Prime that would cause anyone to confuse the two products

It looks like ASUS' Transformer Prime tablet defeated Transformers' Optimus Prime in a name game battle.

In December 2011, toy maker Hasbro filed a lawsuit against computer manufacturer ASUS claiming that the name of ASUS' Transformer Prime tablet was much too similar to its line of Transformers toys.

The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles federal court, where Hasbro was seeking damages as well as a temporary injunction to stop ASUS from selling its Transformer Prime tablet.

The situation seemed a bit odd, since both products are so different. Hasbro's leader of the Autobots, Transformers' Optimus Prime, is a transforming robot from the planet Cybertron that constantly fights other transforming robots called Decepticons. Then you have ASUS' Transformer Prime, which is a 10-inch tablet that features a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 8 MP rear camera, 1.2 MP front-facing camera and the Android mobile operating system for $499 (32 GB) and $599 (64 GB). One could hardly confuse the two.

Apparently the judge in the U.S. federal court felt the same way. The court ruled that ASUS could sell its Transformer Prime tablet because there was nothing "gimmicky" about the Eee Pad Transformer or Transformer Prime that would cause anyone to confuse the two products. The decision was solidified when the court realized that ASUS had named its tablet appropriately, since the tablet can transform into a laptop computer. Furthermore, the court said Hasbro waited too long to file the lawsuit and was not entitled to a preliminary injunction despite its planned launch of the Transformer Prime line this month.

"In sum, Hasbro has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of its infringement and dilution claims," said the judge. "Even assuming "serious questions" going to the merits are raised, the present record fails to evidence a likelihood of irreparable injury or that the balance of the equities tips sharply in Hasbro's favor. Having waited until the purportedly infringing and diluting tablets had been on the market for almost a year, the Court sees no grounds for invoking the extraordinary and drastic remedy of preliminary relief that would reverse the status quo ante before the parties have had the opportunity to try the case on its merits. The motion is DENIED."

Hasbro, of course, disagreed with the ruling.

"Hasbro strongly disagrees with the Court’s decision not to preliminarily enjoin ASUS’ use of those marks, however we were pleased with the Court’s views on the strength of Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS and TRANSFORMERS PRIME marks," said Hasbro. "While the case proceeds toward trial, Hasbro will continue to actively pursue this matter and will take all steps necessary to protect its globally recognized and established marks.”


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This is understandable
By Boze on 3/27/2012 5:11:55 PM , Rating: 3
One is a highly evolved inorganic life form with the ability to scan and become just about any technological object from a big rig to a dinosaur, download information from the World Wide Web and learn to speak, read, and write every human language with enough understanding to develop human vocal accents suitable to their personality.

The other is a relatively inexpensive, technologically advanced slate computer with about as much processing power as a top of the line desktop of 4 or 5 years ago, which can plug into a keyboard.

I see how people could confuse the two.

RE: This is understandable
By Omega215D on 3/27/2012 5:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups...

RE: This is understandable
By B3an on 3/27/2012 9:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
... You mean Apple users. They dont buy from Asus. Hasbro have nothing to worry about.

RE: This is understandable
By Okham on 3/28/12, Rating: -1
RE: This is understandable
By Rukkian on 3/28/2012 11:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
Actually those of us that want to play games are pretty much forced to do it on a PC (or pay twice as much for a Crapple and then still install windows). I have more than half a brain and can build a desktop that is 10 times more powerful and useful for gaming for 1/2 the cost of any Crapple product.

RE: This is understandable
By djc208 on 3/28/2012 12:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for providing the rational for our "irrational" hatred of Apple.

RE: This is understandable
By Okham on 3/29/2012 10:05:58 AM , Rating: 1
You mean you hate a multinational company, and its entire product line, because someone you don't know, who has no connection with said company, commented something you don't like about a subject not even talked about in the article you were reading at the time?

How rational...

RE: This is understandable
By eifel on 3/27/2012 8:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's simple. You just have to remember that sophisticated robots need an operating system. All Transformers, including the Asus slate and Optimus Prime, run Android. Decepticons run iOS. Hasbro is a front for the evil empire Apple, who wish to destroy the Transformers.

RE: This is understandable
By chochosan on 3/28/2012 8:21:57 AM , Rating: 3
All transformers run Android FSO - Freshly Squeezed Orange, which after many iterations was sold to a unnamed alien organization and implemented in robot technology, to reduce costs and save power - power which in turn can be rerouted to other more vital systems - like weapon technology for example.

Using the previous ill-fated OS of Microsoft - Sliding Doors 88 with integrated metrosexual interface resulted in massive power loss and malfunction...

RE: This is understandable
By theapparition on 3/28/2012 12:20:54 PM , Rating: 3
Another example of stupidity. Hasbro thought they could make a quick buck through a frivolous lawsuit.

Instead, they should've teamed up with Asus, and offered a special edition tablet with the Autobot logo, or something gimicky like that. Tie it's release in with a new movie (ala Bumble Bee Camaro) and you'd have yourself a hit. Both parties would make money, geeks would be happy to shell out some extra coins, and lawyers would be sitting in the corner rocking and wondering where they're going to get their next Porsche payment.

Instead, everyone loses and the lawyers got paid. No wonder this society is going down the tubes.

Transformer Optimus Prime?
By Gunbuster on 3/27/2012 4:56:34 PM , Rating: 5
I hope they make a windows 8 tablet version with discrete Nvidia graphics. Then they could call it the Transformer Prime with Optimus technology.

RE: Transformer Optimus Prime?
By Flunk on 3/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: Transformer Optimus Prime?
By Lonyo on 3/28/2012 3:21:57 AM , Rating: 2
1) It was a joke
2) Define tablet. There's a Gigabyte convertible laptop that has a slate style tablet mode and has NV 520M graphics (plus Core i5 etc).

By snakeInTheGrass on 3/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: Wow...
By sprockkets on 3/27/2012 5:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
So aside from Jedi in Star Wars what does that work mean? Aside from Pac Man, the game, where else does Ms. Pac Man show up?

Sorry if you disagree with the Judge that both Asus' table and Hasbro's robots, transform, and that a certain one of them is "prime" as in, chief, best according to Merriam Webster.

RE: Wow...
By eifel on 3/29/2012 2:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
So aside from Jedi in Star Wars what does that work mean?

Is it true that in a galaxy not so far, far away, the evil empire is building a giant Death Apple? That Darth Jobs isn't dead, just hiding and waiting for the ultimate revenge? That he had a son call Luke iWalker who works for Samsung?

RE: Wow...
By rocketcuse on 3/28/2012 2:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
I sure hope nobody objects to the "Jedi LED Flashlights" and "Ms. Pac Man Midol" I've been pitching - I mean, they're not gimmicky, and they're not a movie or video game either.

You for sure would be in trademark infringement. How? For the Jedi flashlight, not only are you using a trademark name, but you are also using a likeness to the Jedi light saber. If you make the midol pills like the Ms Pac Man dots, again, using a likeness.

In the HASBRO v ASUS case, HASBRO products are called Transformers, with an S. ASUS is called a Transformer, no S. Hasbro also uses Optimus Prime in reference to the Autobot leader, not Prime by itself. As mentioned, ASUS only uses Prime. There is no HASBRO Transformers product only named Prime. Two different names for two totally different products. No product likeness. This was an easy case.

This makes me kind of sad.
By Adam M on 3/29/2012 5:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
When they first came out with the Transformer Prime, I automatically thought of The Transformers and Optimus Prime. I can see where Hasbro was coming from. I think that both companies missed a huge opportunity for co branding. I kind of want a Transformer Prime tablet, accessories and all, it would be all the more sweeter in Optimus red with an autobots logo.

By Beenthere on 3/27/2012 11:27:51 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps Asus should probably be sued for selling defective goods not for trade mark infringement?

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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