Asus gets sued by Hasbro over the Transformer Prime’s name
Wishing for another lawsuit to pop up in the mobile world? It’s your lucky day! This time, Asus has been sued. Thankfully though, not by Apple, and not for patent infringement.
The company suing is Hasbro, which you may have heard of because it makes toys (and licenses truckloads of well known game brands to companies such as EA, but also apparently is into digital entertainment). Hasbro, of course, is the parent of the famous Transformers series (and movie franchise). Furthermore, the protagonist of both the animated series as well as the film series is called Optimus Prime.
It is then quite easy to figure out that Hasbro’s beef is with the recently-announced Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet’s name.
If you’re wondering why Hasbro hasn’t sued over the original Transformer, perhaps that would have been easily overthrown by Asus – after all, it is a common word. But Transformer and Prime, in the same brand? That must have been too much for Hasbro.
That said, it’s really unlikely that anyone would confuse a toy with a tablet, even one that transforms into a netbook if you want it to. On the other hand, Asus did use some of the brand recognition already established by the toys (and franchises) to drive interest for its new tablet.
So this will be an interesting one. What will prevail? The differing fields in which the companies operate, or the (uncanny) similarity between the brands? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Oh, and it looks like Hasbro has a pending trademark for “Transformers Prime”, a 2010 animated series. Uncanny indeed.
Via The Verge