Asus Sued for Tablet Transformer Prime Name

By Monica Gleberman January 03, 2012

Transformers toy company Hasbro thinks that the newest Asus tablet, the Transformer Prime, sounds a bit too much like one of its popular robots and has decided to file a lawsuit against the computer maker in Los Angeles Federal Court.

In June, Asus released its Eee Pad Transformer, with no complaints as of yet from Hasbro. The Eee Pad is a 10.1-inch Android tablet with an IPS display. IPS is the same kind of screen employed by the iPad 2. It uses a widescreen display, unlike the iPad 2’s more full screen setup, and has a tougher outer edge to prevent scratches and cracking.

Then in December, Asus announced a new tablet called the Transformer Prime. This newly updated tablet is 10 inches and is made to fit a keyboard dock that gives it a laptop-like form. Like the first tablet, it has a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and runs Android Honeycomb right out of the box. The battery is said to last 12 hours, with an 8-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, and has 1GB of RAM. Asus’s new announcement with a tablet called Transformer Prime is what got them into trouble.

 “Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brand and products and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriates our intellectual property for their own financial gain,” the company wrote in an e-mail to PaidContent.

Hasbro’s litigation would have usually been invalid based on current trademark law, since tablets and toy robots do not currently fall under the same category. However, Hasbro said the Transformers brand is expanding (due mainly to the Michael Bay Films) and has to protect names associated with the ever-growing brand.

Hasbro is currently seeking damages, as well as a temporary injunction on the Transformer Prime tablet from Asus, which went on sale Dec. 19. If Hasbro wins, Asus will most likely have to recall the entire product that was sent out to retailers for the holidays, as well as, pay a significant fine to Hasbro. Depending on the litigation, the company might also have to either sell the tablet rights over to Hasbro or stop production of the product all-together. At this time, there has been no comment made from Asus regarding the pending litigation.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

Contributing Writer

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