Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line

Transformers News: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 10:56AM CST

Category: Company News
Posted by: GetRightRobot   Views: 43,112

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That is correct. Hasbro has taken legal action against computer company ASUS over their use of the name Transformer Prime. With all the potential intellectual property slights against parent company Hasbro, who would have thought it would be a computer that brings down the hammer? ASUS has named their converting laptop tablet PC Transformer Prime. Hasbro announced it will "aggressively protect its brands and products".

Theverge.com reported the action stating:"The toymaker is no doubt worried that the name could be confused with that of its Transformers franchise, not to mention Optimus Prime, the lead protagonist of the animation and film series... though we're not quite sure how a robot that transforms into a semi truck could be confused with a tablet and detachable keyboard. Perhaps Hasbro is worried that tablet buyers might see it as a licensed product."

Is this an indication that Hasbro feels companies are flying fast and loose with the Transformers brand? Check out these articles here and here and join the discussion already under way in the forums.

Here is a picture of the offender. Not what I would have guessed.
Image
Credit(s): Ravage XK
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Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326007)
Posted by craggy on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:07am CST
there's a mobile phone here called "Optimus". wonder if they'll notice that?
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326008)
Posted by Ravage XK on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:12am CST
Optimus seems to be used by a few companies. A quick google shows that Nvidia used it too. I doubt theres much can be done about that as its a latin word meaning one of the best, aristocrat, noble.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326012)
Posted by Forgotten on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:28am CST
Asus had this project in development under this name for a while now. I don't think Hasbro is going to be able to win this one. And if they do, that's just bullshit. Asus is a great company, they make the motherboards I use for my CSM & high end builds. They have been a big name in the tech industry for a long time, Hasbro may have bitten off more than they can chew on this one.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326015)
Posted by Stockade on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:31am CST
I guess since Hasbro cant really go after 3rd parties, so this is the next big thing? or is Hasbro hard up for money?
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326022)
Posted by paul053 on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:45am CST
I admit ASUS naming is kind of confusing but Hasbro's action is way too late. IIRC, shouldn't this tablet be in the market already but got delayed due to some hardware issues?
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326024)
Posted by hpfabe on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:52am CST
I think it's worth mentioning that the "Transformer Prime" is the new up-model version of Asus's similar tablet/keyboard combo, which was named the Transformer. That one came out a full year ago.

Re: paul053 - It had some issues with the wifi which delayed it slightly, but it's mainly delayed because they aren't making it quickly enough to fulfill initial preorders, nevermind the new orders coming in. The thing is THE tablet to buy this season, apparently.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326027)
Posted by necr0blivion on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:55am CST
When I hear "Transformer Prime", my thoughts go straight to the newest Hasbro animation depicting Cybertronians. Then I see it's a product for a PC tablet. I believe Hasbro is worried about confusion due to ASUS' product be named so similar to their show/product line.

If it was just "Transformer" or "Prime", no issue. But the combination of both words makes it a problem. I don't agree with some of the posters that Hasbro is just looking to bully other companies with this lawsuit, regardless of who their target is.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326028)
Posted by Forgotten on December 22nd, 2011 @ 11:58am CST
paul053 wrote:I admit ASUS naming is kind of confusing but Hasbro's action is way too late. IIRC, shouldn't this tablet be in the market already but got delayed due to some hardware issues?

There werese delays due to the dock. But it's been on the market at least two months now.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326033)
Posted by Treetop Maximus on December 22nd, 2011 @ 12:03pm CST
I'm rooting for Hasbro.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326041)
Posted by Vicalliose on December 22nd, 2011 @ 12:21pm CST
Consumers may be confused between a computer and a television show and toy line? God... f*** you Hasbro, as if ASUS quality control and customer service wasn't bad enough. Now someone wants to sue them.

That's just the way in this lawyer filled mess of a world though. It's all about making money for nothing. I hate Hasbro so much right now. I want to see the company burn at this point. Big companies like Hasbro, hiring decent talented people like Lauren Faust to produce television shows for toys which have been outsourced to slave labor, suing companies for no good reason, driving the economy into the ground and making me f***ing addicted to stupid plastic toys into my adulthood... f*** I don't even a right to say this s***. Imma go look for those missing deluxes now...
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326061)
Posted by LiKwid on December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:01pm CST
Ok Ok someone has to say it...

"ASUS just got KO'd" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Whaaaaat?...too soon?

Ole hasbro is gettin a little feisty this holiday season..Maybe they should use some of this aggrressive approach towards making better toys and actually not schleppin out repaints...Just sayin...
>:oP
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326062)
Posted by Ouch on December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:21pm CST
A couple of things that are important to keep in perspective.

Part of the US trademark system is a requirement to vigorously defend your mark or you will lose it. How precisely big an "infringer" has to be to qualify as a threat is something only a lawyer could probably tell you.

Second, given that in the last couple of iterations of the branding there have been licensed PC peripherals using the trademarks, it is possible that the Prime name has been applied for in that category, but I'm too lazy to go to uspto.gov and look it up. Transformer Prime is a bit close to Transformers: Prime in the grand scheme of things.

Oh, and lastly, I don't know for certain if this applies but it just occurred to me. It is possible that Hasbro expected that Prime was a (complementary) Codename that would be relabelled once the product when to promotion and market. This happens a LOT in IT particularly since we IT geeks love to codename projects after things we think are ubercool.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326064)
Posted by Seibertron on December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:32pm CST
TheVerge.com wrote:The toymaker is no doubt worried that the name could be confused with that of its Transformers franchise, not to mention Optimus Prime, the lead protagonist of the animation and film series... though we're not quite sure how a robot that transforms into a semi truck could be confused with a tablet and detachable keyboard. Perhaps Hasbro is worried that tablet buyers might see it as a licensed product.


This is such as asinine comment to me. You mean to tell me that if a company released a computer type product called the Chevrolet Corvette or the General Motors Silverado or something like that that it could get away with that because they're "not quite sure how an automobile that people can drive could be confused with a tablet and detachable keyboard"? I don't fully understand all of the legal ramifications of all of this and I understand that the words "transformer" and "prime" are general use words which might complicate this. However, "corvette" is also a common use word (it's a type of warship) though I'm assuming most people think of the car first and foremost. I think the word "transformer" and "prime" used in conjunction together should signify a violation. Used separately, no, but used together, I think the malicious intent is clear and its usage would severely dilute and adversely affect one of Hasbro's flagship characters.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326068)
Posted by Megatron Wolf on December 22nd, 2011 @ 1:56pm CST
to be fair it is called transformer prime not transformers prime and each word usage can be justified, it transforms from one thing to anotther hence transformer and i guess they consider it there best line so hence the prime but i was wondering if any thing would come of this. When i first heard the name of the computer i thought it was a TF branded computer being used to promote the franchise. Id like to know why hasbro decided to go after this one and not one of the many products that uses it names like all the products with the name optimus
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326072)
Posted by Mykltron on December 22nd, 2011 @ 2:00pm CST
And yet Hasbro never sued LancĂ´me:

Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326073)
Posted by Forgotten on December 22nd, 2011 @ 2:05pm CST
Wonder if General Electric has ever given Hasbro crap about using transformers as a name for a franchise since it is the name of a staple component of the electric system.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326079)
Posted by Blackstreak on December 22nd, 2011 @ 2:18pm CST
Why name a laptop Transformer Prime anyways? Hasbro, on the other hand, is being anal retentive- property ownership or not. May as well copyright the individual words and sue Webster's Dictionary.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326080)
Posted by Seibertron on December 22nd, 2011 @ 2:24pm CST
Megatron Wolf wrote:to be fair it is called transformer prime not transformers prime and each word usage can be justified, it transforms from one thing to anotther hence transformer and i guess they consider it there best line so hence the prime but i was wondering if any thing would come of this. When i first heard the name of the computer i thought it was a TF branded computer being used to promote the franchise. Id like to know why hasbro decided to go after this one and not one of the many products that uses it names like all the products with the name optimus


Because I'm assuming they don't own a trademark on the name optimus. It's "optimus prime".

Anyone can use the word "transformer", except for use as a toy or one of the other mediums that the Transformers toy brand utilizes. It's the conjunction of these two words that is the issue. They could have called their tablet "Prime" or the ASUS Transformer, but I think it's the fact that they're calling it the Transformer Prime that is the issue.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326085)
Posted by Vicalliose on December 22nd, 2011 @ 2:32pm CST
Question: Why would any company do something like this intentionally?

It's pretty obvious in this day and age that they'd be sued, even though it's simply irrational to think someone could confuse a computer for a toy/television series. Whilst we're talking confusion, how about we talk about the upcoming RiD line, or perhaps any of the other dozens of different lines with confusing names.

And y'know what? I don't give a s**t about copyright anymore. Nope. Don't give a f**k who pirates what or steals the name of whatever. I hate all lawyers and politicians who fight for copyright laws. SOPA makes me want to steal s**t.
Re: Hasbro is to sue Asus over the Transformer Prime line (1326089)
Posted by Forgotten on December 22nd, 2011 @ 2:38pm CST
I believe at one point Asus was going to launch their full line of tablets under the name Prime. I do know that there was a netbook/tablet that was marketed as the transformer. Either way, this is ridiculous because nobody is going to buy the transformer prime tablet thinking it's Megatron anyways.

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