21
Dec
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In a not too surprising move, toy maker Hasbro has sued ASUS, claiming that the Transformer Prime tablet's name infringes trademarks related to Optimus Prime and Transformers children's toys.

Hasbro filed the lawsuit late last week in Los Angeles federal court, seeking damages and a temporary injunction. Hasbro wrote to paidContent:

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.

In reality, Hasbro's case is not likely to succeed. MocoNews rightly points out that trademarks generally only cover limited categories of goods, and that it is not realistic to think that consumers might confuse ASUS' latest tablet with a popular children's toy line. Still, the connection between Transformers and ASUS' quad-core device have been drawn by various individuals leading up to its release, for completely obvious reasons.

It's not clear what (if anything) will come out of this suit, but we'll be here to cover any new details that emerge.

Via MocoNews

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Jan

    Quit trademarking common words, morons.

  • hfx_nick

    Amazon Prime, YOUR NEXT. Hasbro SMASH.

    Idiots.

    • Raptor0065

      *YOU'RE NEXT

      You should have figured this out by the third grade...

      *sigh*

      • Ronny

        Gotta love how he ended with "Idiots".
        LOL.

  • Mapex

    I love how douchebags wait until a product is released to sue. Can't we be nice people and tell each other in advance not to use certain names to avoid this nonsense? Fucking greedy bastards.

    • Mitch Samuels

      That would be nice, but it would be nicer if the USPTO wouldn't give patents on common words like this.

      • Mark

        This has nothing to do with patents.

        • Randy

          It was to do with Trademarks, which is also included in USPTO. So although he used the wrong word (patent vs trademark) his complaint is still valid.

    • Ben

      Occasionally, the name of a product changes between development and launch.

  • Keith

    I am not sure why they just didn't call it Asus Transformer 2. Would have actually been less confusing and probably avoided this.

    • 3William56

      Yeah, then Michael Bay would have been reaching for the lawyers. :D

  • LuckyGirlx86

    Tablet... Toy... Tablet... Toy. I'm not confused? LOL ... Next up they may as well sue the food prime rib. Food.. Toy.. Food.. Toy. Now I am confused. JK

  • Btod

    I hate to say this but I think Hasbro may have a point. Using Transformer AND Prime? That doesn't seem like a coincidence. It'd be like if there was a product called the Captain Sparrow, individually you can't trademark either name but can you honestly tell me you didn't think Pirates of the Caribbean immediately?

  • protozeloz

    Lol there is so much win in this some fun lawsuit (unlike the "a method to call and use another app at the same time" thing)

    I'm so calling my phone nexus prime anyways
    I'll have a prime trio

  • 3William56

    I believe Rev. Nicholas Callan's descendants' lawyers should have a word with Hasbro and Michael Bay first:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformer

    I can't wait to see ASUS holding up Optimus Prime and a TP tablet in court to see it Samsung's lawyers can tell them apart...

  • TouchMyBox

    I personally cannot wait for ASUS' next-gen tablet; My Little Tablet: Android is Magic

  • Mastermind26

    If ASUS was making a toy line (cheap knock-off), then I'd give it some merit. Otherwise, as stated: MORONS.

    Next thing you know Apple will sue farmers for use of "their" name brand. (Wait. That doesn't seem too far-fetched for crapple).

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    FYI, for anyone thinking the Nexus Prime name would have been different enough: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_thirteen_Transformers#Nexus_Prime

    • Randy

      Wow, didn't know that one. I guess it's a good thing they didn't use that name.

  • Geeky

    It was an obvious "homage" to the Transformers line. If ASUS was smart, they would have asked permission first. My first thought when I saw the name was: I wonder when Hasbro is going to sue over that?

    • Randy

      I didn't know who held the rights to the name, but lawsuits came to my mind as well when I saw the name. Especially since everyone seems to be suing over anything they can find lately.

  • Michael Kennedy

    I think its more the fact they use 2 of the words. if google/verizon would have done a nexus prime it wouldn't be confused with the transformers "optimus prime"

  • Carlos

    This is such a waste, instead of suing, Hasbro should team up with Asus, I would be REALLY interested in a Transformers-Themed Transformer Prime, just imagine the Autobot (or Decepticon) symbol in the back instead of Asus logo (or along, if it HAS to), maybe a cool color scheme and transfomers sounds for notifications... such a waste...

    • Btod

      I would buy that

  • gatch

    What about the LG Optimus then? 'Transformer' and 'Prime' seem to be more commonly used words than 'Optimus'.

  • http://gthing.net sam

    I remember when it used to be an honor to have something named after you.

  • Tyler C

    Oh, guess what? I will be saying "Fuck you" to all Hasbro toys from now on for little kids around xmas time.
    But I honestly dont like the name Transformer Prime either. First of all, the Transformers movies suck, secondly, "Prime" is usually associated with "one" or "first" etc, and the Prime isnt the first Transformer Tablet, it's the second.

    • cody

      no your wrong this is what they ment
      3. The age of ideal physical perfection and intellectual vigor.
      4. The period or phase of ideal or peak condition.
      OR how about it is a first as in the first quad core so you're being to damn Literal

  • MG

    This is the part were... hey HASBRO go fuck yourself is appropriate. As if consumers will associate the Asus Transformer Prime to the god damn Autobots cartoon or even the movie. REALLY?... Then HASBRO doesn't seem to think highly of their customers.

  • Fabulas

    there's a big difference in Nexus Prime and Transformer Prime. The latter has lawsuit written all over it...... I SOOOO SAW THIS COMMING!

  • the Goat

    Verizon licenses the word "Droid" from lucasfilm. Asus should have to license the phrase "Transformer Prime" from Hasbro. Actually until not I had assumed they did license it. Because the Hasbro Toys/cartoons are the first thing I think of whenever somebody says the words, Transformer and Prime together.

    • Mike

      BINGO! Hasbro will win if this goes to court...

      If Motorola's IP dept. didn't think "Droid" was going to be an issue they would not have licensed it from Lucas...

  • italyanker

    Asus wil win the cause because the same name can be used for different products if their markets are different! ( Hasbro's Transformer Prime is a toy, Asus Transformer Prime is an IT product, so their respective markets are different and so these products can have the same name at the same time by international copyright and trademark laws )

  • StephenM

    LG should call their next Optimus phone the LG Optimus Prime. Now there is a name worth suing over! :-)

  • Eludium Q36

    Go to teledex.com to view their iPhone line of hotel phones - seriously. This is closer to infringement than the laptop is to toys but Apple hasn't apparently objected, or hasn't prevailed if they did object.

  • dan

    i am just curious what damages the name of the tablet will do to hasbro and their toy line

  • Fabulas

    Gotta blame Asus's legal team for this one. They should have saw this coming.