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Hasbro Sues Asus Over Transformer Prime Name

Discussion in 'Android News' started by Garemlin, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Garemlin
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    Garemlin Developer Relations

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    Toy maker Hasbro has filed a lawsuit against Asus over the name of its Transformer Prime tablet last week, in a federal district court. Hasbro is worried that the name could be confused with that of its Transformers franchise, not to mention Optimus Prime, the lead Transformer in the animation and film series. Perhaps Hasbro is worried that tablet buyers might see it as a licensed product. Hasbro has already sent out a generic statement about its willingness to "aggressively protect its brands," and we're reaching out to Asus right now. According to court filings, Hasbro's attempting to seal the actual complaint, but we can also see that the company's pursuing a preliminary injunction against Asus as we speak. The court has given Asus 21 days to respond to the complaint.

    According to the filing, Hasbro's citing trademarks 2455261, 3689720, 3468487, 76690677 and 85008156. Notably, the last one is a pending trademark for "Transformers Prime," its 2010 animated series. Hasbro would hold that particular trademark for toys, board games, and animated shows.

    For more discussions on the new Tegra 3 Asus Transformer Prime Android Tablet, check out the Transformer Prime Forums

    Source: The Verge
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2011
  2. IanG
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    IanG New Member

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    Here we go again...

    The only way to put out a product that doesn't violate any name trademarks is to roll your hand on the keyboard and hope it doesn't create a real word.
  3. SupAll
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    SupAll New Member

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    I would think this is a legitimate complaint. I mean, how many people thought "Transformer Prime" and didn't think of Optimus Prime from Transformers? The connection is very easy to make. Would I want Hasbro to win? Eh, not really, but that doesn't mean they don't have a legitimate case.
  4. zinethar
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    zinethar Member

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    what ever happened to the concept that trademarks were only valid within the realm of that product. I remember in the old days when Apple Records sued Apple Computer (image an Apple suing someone...). They lost except the court ruled that Apple Computer could keep the name as long as they didn't do music. Followed years later by the Mac startup sound named sosueme...
  5. ntrddragn
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    ntrddragn New Member

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    You would think Asus thought about name infringement? Probably Hasbro wants more money then the initial agreement seeing how well Asus is doing.

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums
  6. RETG
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    RETG Member

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    Beretta sued GM for the use of the name on a car. In this case, a few million to Hasbro and all will be well again.
  7. Speeding Wheels
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    Speeding Wheels New Member

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    gee, I never saw this one coming :blink:
  8. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    I dunno, the toy is a alien robot...and the tablet is a computer with a alien robot as a 'mascot'. =P
  9. tjk629
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    tjk629 New Member

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    They should work together and use this for marketing. Might get people hyped for it.
  10. rubiksc00p
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    rubiksc00p New Member

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    Didn't see that coming! :blink: I haven't seen any Transformers movie, so I wouldn't have thought of that! :D

    But it will be interesting to see the outcome! :popcorn:
  11. xsylus
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    xsylus Active Member

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    Who didn't see this coming, I would have expected Asus to make sure their licensing was cleared for this. I think someone should lose their job over this obvious oversight. Maybe the guy wearing the "I'm with stupid" t-shirt with the arrow pointing upward. :stupid::r_c: :work3:... you're fired! [​IMG]
  12. Ohyea!
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    Ohyea! Member

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    Lmao...I was wondering how long b4 Hasbro sued Asus. the transformer tablet's name is such a blatant attempt to cash in on Hasbro's franchise.
  13. sarreq
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    sarreq New Member

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    wow, it took Hasbro almost a year to notice that one....
    I think they knew about it and wanted to make sure the name didn't get changed so they could attempt to cash in.

    but seriously, who's going to mistake a mildly purple (or champagne) tablet for a bright red and blue robot toy?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  14. IceAngel8381
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    IceAngel8381 New Member

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    Knew that was coming. Hopefully, (and rightfully) Hasbro will win.
  15. jseah
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    jseah New Member

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    How can it be blatant? Obviously Asus used the Transformer name because by adding the keyboard dock, the tablet "transforms" into a notebook/netbook computer. Saying that a computer is trying to cash in on a cartoon franchise is thin at best. What benefit would a computer get from being tied to a cartoon? That's like saying the Charlie Brown chain of steakhouses is trying to cash in on being tied to Charles Schulz's comic strip character. Or Apple sending a cease and desist order to the city of New York asking them to stop using a green apple as the logo for the city's recycling program (ignoring the fact that NYC has been known as the Big Apple for longer than Apple has been around).
  16. Narsil
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    Narsil Active Member

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    As stupid (and it is) as the lawsuit is, Hasbro (and ASUS for that matter) has plenty of lawyers on retainer. If they don't give the lawyers something to do (but not more than the retainer covers), they lose the money they've paid to keep the lawyers on retainer. I would assume it doesn't take a lawyer too much time to create and file a patent/trademark infringement argument. On the other hand, I further assume that it takes quite a bit more time, energy, and money to defend against said infringement filing.

    It's all a form of supposedly "civilized" warfare.

    Want to see this kind of idiocy reduced dramatically? Push for tort reform wherein the loser in a civil court case pays the court/lawyer fees of the winner. People and companies would hesitate to sue if they were not very sure of a victory.
  17. droidtom
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    droidtom New Member

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    You have to admit prime is one of the characters in transformers lol

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
  18. Narsil
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    Narsil Active Member

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    I'm not a huge Transformers fan but, in the Transformers world, isn't "Prime" a title, kind of like "President" or "Prime Minister?" I am not aware of any characters who are named "Prime." I thought "Optimus Prime" was like saying "President Obama."

    That being said, I have no doubt that ASUS did not come up with the name "Transformer Prime" in a cultural vacuum. I'm sure the similarity is intentional. However, as has been said, trademarks used to be reserved for competitive products not simply the same name. The ex-Israeli man, Mr. Nissan (Nissan is both a Hebrew personal name and the name of one of the Jewish months), found out when he named his computer-assembly company, Nissan Computers, that trademark infringement is no longer restricted to competitive industries.
  19. nikecar
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    nikecar New Member

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    No, its OPTIMUS Prime.

    the Primes were a class of Autobots, like royalty, but they had their own names. So you could argue Prime was either a last name or part of the title: Optimus of Prime... or something like that. But Optimus is his name.

    What will Asus do to the eletric company? Sorry sir, our transformer, err that box that handles power down conversions, blew.
  20. spillner
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    spillner New Member

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    This is one of the few times where a lawsuit really has a case. Transformer Prime is deff a rip off of the transformers and Hasbro has every right to be upset. That being the case I hope they lose because I want to be able to tell people I have a Transfomer Prime :p