Judge denies Hasbro request for Transformer Prime ban

When it comes to lawsuits we now expect a company like Apple to pursue endless legal action to stay ahead of competitors, but surely a toy company like Hasbro would be a little more lighthearted. Right? Wrong. The maker behind the ever-popular Transformers line has been taking ASUS to task after the tablet manufacturer chose a name that doesn’t stride too far from Autobot leader Optimus Prime’s. But the Transformer Prime has been spared the rage of a thousand transforming vehicles as a US court has rejected Hasbro’s request to preliminarily ban ASUS from using the name.

The judge presiding over the case decided that few folks were likely to mistake the tablet for a Hasbro product. Hasbro wasn’t so happy with the court’s decision and plans to keep on fighting their fight all the way to trial.

[PaidContent via Engadget]

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  • MrDSL

    Not that I thought Hasbro released this but when I first heard the name I assumed they made a deal to use the Prime..

    • Covert_Death

      i think they should make a deal… the ONLY reason the names transformer and Prime, especially when used together are recognizable are because of hasbro. it would be like if i named one of my products the apollo 13…. well fuck sure the nasa space program is never gonna make a tablet but i can’t just hitchhike the name they created to make my product famous

      • Canon User

        Whether the term is recognizable or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is the likelihood of confusion of the two products. Which is nil.

  • Jon Flikkema

    I think Hasbro might be more upset because of the TV show Transformers: Prime, not optimus prime.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformers_prime

  • Rob Wolfenden

    When I first heard that Hasbro was going after ASUS, I thought it was goofy due to being a sound alike instead of actually ripping them off. But then I relized that the newest Transformers cartoon is actually called Transformers Prime.. which started 2-2011 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformers:_Prime - they have more of a case then all the Apple suits put together… though I do think it’s marketing genius on ASUS’s part.

    • Canon User

      They have a animated kids TV cartoon of the same name… So?

      • AJA0

        So, people tend to confuse products/items that have the same name.

        • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

           If one doesn’t see the differences between a tablet and a cartoon…they have bigger problems.

  • Soldier

    First! Lol

    • http://www.swornbrotherhood.com/ nemesys06

      ummm….  i think somebody beat you to the race.  you are not first.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G5RPWFQ33YE5LYHKQ66F5B4X3M Darkflame

        The race was long gone before you showed up. LOL!

  • http://www.mark717.com Mark Seven

    Yeah they do have a show named Transformers Prime but oh well… what are ya gonna do…

  • D Fryling

    Only idiots get confused.

    • fahim5130

      yeah u mean iphone users

      • Hugo Pinto

        Yes, that is what the “i” stands for in all iDevices

  • Treknologist

    ASUSbots!  Transform and roll out!  

    • Psykhe

      Mhh.. ASUSbots vs Cuperticons.

  • endinyal

    This just goes to show the arrogance of people here.  Hasbro has every right to protect the name of its brand.  Doesn’t matter if they don’t make tablets.  You have simply proven that IP of any kind is irrelevant because you’re in your tiny little bubble.

    What’s the next tablet name from Asus?? Godzilla? Cinderella?  Mickey Mouse?  Crap?

    • ScottColbert

      It’s not arrogance, but common sense, something you seem to be lacking. This is no different than movies, songs, books etc having the same title/name but totally unrelated content. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CYQUMMC7Z4UBLSHQAJGNJBKVPM JamesS

    But, but, but…  I’m confused as to why my tablet has turned into a robot and kicked some butt!?!?!

  • http://www.swornbrotherhood.com/ nemesys06

    I don’t think it’s just because it’s similar to the name “Optimus Prime”…  but there is a series on The HUB called “Transformers Prime”, and that may be where Hasbro is suing over.  I personally think they have every right suing, and Asus should pay some royalties.  As for banning, I think that is too much.  Maybe the two will meet in the middle and we can get a special edition Transformer Prime tablet, with either and “Autobot” edition or a “Decepticon” edition.  

    • Hugo Pinto

      No.
      The words Transformer and Prime, together or separate are not owned by Hasbro. 
      But the main thing is, they are not even competing in the same market. 

      This is as stupid as Apple suing a supermarket chain or a mom and pop coffee shop just because there is an apple on their logo ( yes that happened )

  • leaponover

    Well, once again yes Hasbro does have the right to sue, but of course in America, they are just being greedy.  Rather than just sue to get the name to stop being used because they are concerned about the products being linked they are probably asking for damages as well which is ridiculous.  That’s where the greediness comes in.  I think ASUS should have steered clear of this mess and it’s just legal fees that could have been avoided if they had just used their own creativity instead of going with something that already had such a well known history.  In the end, the device will have to stand on it’s own and I really don’t care what the eventual name for it is.

  • Guest

    I called it. Hasbro never had a case from day 1.  Transformer describes an action – to transform. You can’t trademark that.  Not surprised the judge denied it. Whether a cartoon has the same name is irrelevant. And nobody is going to purchase a product just because it happens to share a name with a kid’s cartoon. At least, nobody with a brain.

  • xeridium

    Samsung will release My Little Tab, see how well that goes.

  • tsering thongdok

    autobots wake up …the decepticons are transforming into laptops, tablets …and other hi tech gadgets while we are …..trucks? buses? tuk tuks?

  • DannyB2

    Hasbro sued because someone was forward looking enough to create a Scrabble app, I think on fracebook.  Hasbro couldn’t have it!  Nobody should dare try to move things into the 21st century.  The developers renamed their game.  After much outrage, Hasbro reluctantly, slowly, created an official Scrabble app that lives down to customer expectations of Hasbro by sucking.

    So why would a lawsuit over “transformers” be a surprise.

    Electric utility companies and makers of phone chargers everywhere should be quaking with fear unless they take a license from Hasbro for use of their Intellectual Property in the name “transformers”.

  • Vishal M

    Will Hasbro be suing every electrical engineering company that manufactures transformers?