Dec 21 AT 9:08 PM Anthony Domanico 167 Comments

Lawsuits Galore! Hasbro sues ASUS over Transformer Prime name

lego-lawyer-gun-briefcase Image via: pasukaru76 with Creative Commons

Who knew we’d cover so many lawsuits and patents today? This evening’s lawsuit actually makes a bit of sense, though it leaves us asking what the heck took so long. Toy maker Hasbro is suing ASUS, claiming that naming ASUS’s latest tablet the Transformer Prime is in violation of Hasbro’s brand copyright. Hasbro is seeking damages and a temporary halt of sales of the quad-core Tegra 3 Transformer Prime tablet in the U.S.

In an email statement made to paidContent, Hasbro states:

Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brands and products and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain.Hasbro

We have a hard time believing this lawsuit is going to amount to anything. Though the Transformer Prime magically transforms into a full-featured tablet with the optional keyboard dock accessory, it is difficult to believe that someone would actually associate the Transformer Prime with Hasbro’s Transformer line of products and well-known lead transformer Optimus Prime.

That said, we may see the Transformer Prime forced to change its name in the U.S. Electronista suggests that because of the recent popularity of the movie franchise, Hasbro could argue that ASUS was banking on the popularity of the Transformer franchise to sell a few more tablets. If Hasbro manages to prove this to be the case, which they’ll have an extremely hard time doing, Hasbro will likely win the case against ASUS. Companies in different industries are allowed to use similar named products without violating copyright law if the industries are essentially mutually exclusive, meaning company A is not benefiting financially from the name trademarked by company B.

As the Transformer Prime is easily our favorite Android tablet of 2011, we certainly hope we don’t have to call the Prime some lame name in a few months as legal proceedings move on. We’ll let you know how this one turns out. For now, here’s hoping this is the last lawsuit we have to write about in 2011 today.

Via: Electronista

Source: Moco News

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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    i think we all knew this was coming !

    • darkhorse166

      I’m the complete opposite of surprised.

      • Jorge Eslava

        They were waiting for the phone to be officially released, now that orders are shipping they have jumped out of the tall grass and are ready to bite on ASUS’s jugular. But jokes aside, I’m getting this tablet, I don’t care what they call it.

        • Futureboy

          Your comment probably has some truth to it.
          Let me offer a translation of Hasbro’s statement:

          Hasbro Quote:
          “…and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain.”

          read as:
          “… and the specific actions we are taking today, rather than taking months ago, underscores Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property – but – we will do so only at the precise moment in time that it will be financially rewarding for us to do so.”

          I don’t believe for a second that Hasbro was unaware that Asus had plans to name the tablet the Transformer Prime. They could have taken steps to protect their intellectual property MONTHS ago with a cease and desist letter. The problem is, they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to sue and a) get some publicity through the controversy, and b) potentially benefit financially from a lawsuit claiming damages after the devices were manufactured, sold and shipped.

          • Billy

            Unless they were attempting to reach out to Asus or in negotiations for a deal. I would hope their first reaction would not be to sue but rather work it out behind closed doors.

            However, you are probably right. :(

          • efthymiosh

            Exactly. This is solely for the money. IMO, unless “transformer prime” is trademarked by hasbro, they won’t have much chance in winning this lawsuit.. But then again.. what do I know? I thought this would be laughed upon:

            “A portable electronic device displays, on a touch screen display, a user interface for a phone application during a phone call. In response to detecting activation of a menu icon or menu button, the UI for the phone application is replaced with a menu of application icons, while maintaining the phone call”

          • _Diego

            I agree, No way that they were unaware of the Prime before today.

        • mercado79

          Ditto… Definitely don’t care about the “Prime” name. In fact, it’s kind of funny (not ha ha) that Asus thought to one up their original use of Hasbro’s Transformer trademark on the OG Transformer by tacking on yet another Hasbro trademark. They HAD to see this one coming.

          • tkimball

            The word Transformer is apart of our everyday vocabulary so using the word/name transformer couldn’t be trademarked I don’t think but to add the word prime to it as well could be infringed on.

          • Sean the Electrofreak

            I’m frankly surprised that they didn’t sue LG over the Optimus.

            And the other week when A&M posted that Android phone name generator, I actually got it to generate me an Optimus Prime phone. :p

      • King Chris Scott

        they’re just mad cuz of how well the Transformer Prime is doing

        • Shadowlore

          Based on the amount of the large factor Optimus Prime toys I saw yesterday on the shelves at Walmart, I’m going to assume it’s possible they ARE actually upset that the device is selling more than the toy. ;)

      • AndroidJunkie

        and there I was, looking forward to the HTC Mr Potato Head..

        ah well..

    • Anthony Domanico

      seriously…what the hell took them so long. Were they taking cues from Sprint? ha

      • stenzor

        I guess their legal team isn’t all sparky

    • Lewis McGeary

      We did know this was coming! And you know what, we’re all still going to call it the Prime anyway aren’t we no matter what happens? So change away, the awesomeness of the device is what’s important!

      • goncalossilva

        Completely agree. Specially with the part which says that “the awesomeness of the device is what’s important”.

        They can even name it Transformerz Primelolwutbbq.

      • ben steel

        So true…

        “Oh, be some other name. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet” WS

    • zerosix

      Prime ministers of many countries should also sue Asus.

      • BiGMERF

        probably more to do with Transformer and prime being together in the title

        • Thomas Taylor

          Of a technology product whose operating system’s logo is a robot, and which changes from one thing into a slightly different thing by mechanical moving parts.

          Really, Hasbro should have gone for a patent violation on using moving parts in technology products to change devices’ function. ;-)

          • zerosix

            Then I request automotive dock-station with guns :))

    • DroidSamurai

      Among all the lawsuits going around in the mobile industry, this one does the least surprise. I mean, “Transformer” and “Prime”. Com’on, don’t tell me we don’t get what these two words suggested. We can hate that, but trademarks are trademarks and there’s a reason why Verizon has to pay to use the name “Droid”.

      BTW, if I was a Hasbro exec, I would be going after LG next … “Optimus”?

      • lostsync

        The difference here is that optimus is actually just a Latin word for ‘good’.

        • Andy_jr

          “Transformer” means something that transforms, and “Prime” means first. ;^)

          Seriously, I hope there is a high barrier before companies are allowed to take everyday words out of circulation.

    • Thomas Biard

      I thought about it but then thought “Do they have the name of a character actually trademarked?”
      Then I thought about the Verizon Droid Series. If you have ever noticed there is an asterisk next to all the campaign ads that says “Droid is a trade mark of Lucas Films…”, but Motorola knew this and got permission and in turn was able to make an R2D2 Droid 2. I see it as a missed opportunity for Asus to make an actual Transformer (robot in disguise, more than meets the eye) design special edition.

      • DroidSamurai

        The “Droid” brand was acquired by Verizon, not Motorola (that’s why there’s no Droid on non-VZW phones.)

        On one hand, Hasbro and Asus are in two completely different markets. On another hand, it’s pretty undeniable that Asus had the “Transformers” series in mind when they picked this name.

        • ralphwiggum1

          You said the same thing as me twice. But your comments are above mine since you replied to older threads.

          But I guess I have to say that I totally and completely agree with you.

          ASUS Eee Marvin the Paranoid Tablet

        • Billy

          Yeah … the toys/cartoons are the first thing that comes to my mind.

          I would much rather see a partnership and a special edition Optimus Prime Asus Transformer rather than the silly lawsuits.

  • damambt

    Probably Best Tablet Up to date!

  • zyphbear

    I’m sorta surprised that they are going after this when they didn’t go after “Transformer” before, so they might have to be careful and prove why they didn’t go after it before.

    • TheBrizz

      “Transformer” as a word by itself is a little flimsy for a lawsuit. “Transformer Prime” is quite obviously an intentional play on the toy/movie franchise.

      • AsakuraZero

        well, by definition, calling the TF201 PRIME isnt wrong… its teh best of the best, thus the name actually fits..

        sure it took time to hasbro to say something about the naming of the Tranformer tablet series

  • priority9

    wow….Never thought a company would stoop so low. I know the names are similar but one doesn’t remind me of the other.

    • lostsync

      Transformer Prime really doesn’t remind you of the Transformer named Optimus Prime? At all? I grew up in the 80′s and that red and blue Autobot was the absolute first thing I thought of when I heard of this device and his image is brought to mind every time I read the name.

      Granted, Hasbro could easily let this slide and be a cooler company for it, but in today’s litigious society, it’s kind of a given that they aren’t going to, especially given that a Google search for ‘transformer prime’ doesn’t turn up anything related to the one that’s an actual robot on the first page, except in the image results. A year ago, it would have been nothing but Hasbro’s shapeshifting homeboy on the results page, but today…nada. I can see why ASUS wanted to do this, but I seriously doubt they didn’t consider a lawsuit a possibility when deciding to go forward with that plan.

    • stenzor

      Optimus Prime is the first thing I thought of when I heard Transformer Prime.. granted that is not going to affect my purchasing decision at all

  • Mark

    Wow. The last name that came to mind when thinking about the Prime was Hasbro. Like seriously.

    • darkone0

      Actually thats the first thing that comes to mind since Hasbro created The TRANSFORMERS which are led by Optimus PRIME. They probably didn’t sue the first time since the tablet does “transform” but now that they are using the word “Prime” the connection is more evident.
      Asus should have known better. Just like Samsung should have not copied iOS so blatantly with their Touch Wiz garbage.

      • Dan


  • spintrex

    Lawsuits are the thing nowadays… if you don’t sue or get sued you must not be cool

  • ralphwiggum1

    The name always sounded like a Transformer (“Robots in disguise.”) item. For a company making pretty high end electronics, they should pick a less knock-off name.

    Of course Transformer (and Transformer Prime) was due to it’s docking capabilities, but also because it’s a recognizable robot-y name. At least Verizon paid LucasFilms to used the name Droid. They could license the name and release a special Transformer Optimus Prime Edition tablet.

    Or maybe we can come up with alternative names for them to use?

    ASUS Eee Padlet

    • ralphwiggum1

      ASUS eee Terminator 2: Judgement Day

      • ralphwiggum1

        ASUS Eee Voltron modular tablet PC

        • Lewis McGeary

          ASUS eee pad Episode I: The Trademark Menace

    • ralphwiggum1

      Sorry guys, I was trying to be serious, but it’s so much easier to make fun of the name with various trademarked robot names.

      ASUS Eee Megazord

    • ralphwiggum1

      And it is sad that I keep replying to my own comment.

      ASUS Eee Domoo Arigatoo Mr. Roboto
      with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

      • Adryan maldonado

        Like everyname youve posted someone can sue but im assuming thats your point?

        • ralphwiggum1

          Definitely. See a couple posts up.

          ASUS Eee Pad No. 5

  • staryoshi

    Perhaps adding “Prime” to the Transformer name spurred them to move forward with litigation… And they probably wouldn’t unless they thought that they could win the case… but I don’t think they will. It’ll be an expensive endeavor if they don’t.

  • YMS123

    What next, are they also suing LG for using “Optimus “?

    • ralphwiggum1

      Maybe if they release a Optimus P, or an Optimus’ (<- prime), or maybe well before then.

      • Adryan maldonado

        LG will sue

    • lostsync

      Optimus is basically latin for ‘good’. As far as I know, you cannot trademark a single adjective.

      • ralphwiggum1

        But maybe when that word is associated with a famous transforming robot and then marketed in a in a phone running a robot themed operating system, the line is blurry?

        Also, who would name their phone with a descriptor “good”?

  • Deeds

    I wonder what they would have to change the name to?

    • ralphwiggum1

      ASUS Wall-Eee docking tablet PC

      • Adryan maldonado

        Disney will sue

        • ralphwiggum1

          ASUS Eee Bender Bending Rodriguez tablet PC?

  • CJ LaFleur

    Aw c’mon hasbro! This is bs! No need to go all apple on us! Now android might be in trouble with the in call app use, internet use etc. That patent is really gonna hurt.

  • CTown

    Oh yeah… Optimus Prime vs Transformer Prime! Though, I’m thinking the one with the sword has a better chance of winning. Or is that not how court battles go?

  • aykutb

    Transformer made sense yes but Prime? If i was making an amazing product like that i’d go one step further and give an original name

  • ArticulateFool

    I wonder what took so long… This was bound to happen.

  • jamal adam

    2011 Trend of the Year goes out to…..Lawsuits.

  • Lee Swanson

    Ofer stupid!

    • Harley_Pearson

      Ofer Dumb!

  • Kaote

    Not at all surprised by this, it was inevitable.

  • Vance

    Well that’s it, if they are forced to change the tablet name there is NO way I’m buying it… oh wait… that’s right… I’m not a complete psycho, nor do I buy technology based solely (or even moderately) on name/branding.

  • psipher

    Just rename it the NEXUS.

  • astria

    wait till LG comes out sth funny with Optimus…

  • Lemon

    Flip a coin on this one. Habro don’t make tablets or computers, but it could be argued that ASUS are leveraging the Transformers brand by coupling “transformer” and “prime” together.

  • cabrone

    oh man. are they going to sue electric companies for using Transformers? this is silly!

    • jlp

      Yep, they’re going to have to stop calling them that and start calling them “electrical voltage up and down converting thingies”.

  • Nathan D.

    why am I not surprised

  • Thomas MacDougall

    The only way i see this lawsuit even being remotely legitimate is if asus had named the eee pad slider the transformer prime, since the slider does in fact transform

  • oddball

    Ah the patent wars continue. Honestly I give this one a 50/50 chance of Hasbro winning. What I find ridiculous is that if Hasbro really had a problem with this product (which really doesn’t compete with their product line) they could have asked Asus to change the name before launch. Instead they waited until preorders had started shipping and fired the next shots in the patent wars

    • ralphwiggum1

      Might take a while to weigh legal options and to formally file the lawsuit. And also im thinking they contacted them about it before suing.

  • Dboy352

    Lmao didn’t we just talk about this in the sprint lawsuit topic lmao.

  • ramenchef

    This was kind of expected. I wonder what its new name, if needed, will be.

  • redraider133

    Maybe this is why they went away from the nexus prime name?

  • pragmatous

    Transformer – a person or thing that transforms.
    Prime – Of the first importance; demanding the fullest consideration: a prime requisite.

    - The leader of the Autobots is Optimus Prime

    Additional meanings of the word prime:
    prime [prahym]  
    Example Sentences Origin
    prime   [prahym] Show IPA adjective, noun, verb, primed, prim·ing.
    of the first importance; demanding the fullest consideration: a prime requisite.
    of the greatest relevance or significance: a prime example.
    of the highest eminence or rank: the prime authority on Chaucer.
    of the greatest commercial value: prime building lots.
    first-rate: This ale is prime!
    (of meat, especially of beef) noting or pertaining to the first grade or best quality: prime ribs of beef.
    first in order of time, existence, or development; earliest; primitive.
    basic; fundamental: the prime axioms of his philosophy.
    Mathematics . (of any two or more numbers) having no common divisor except unity: The number 2 is prime to 9.
    the most flourishing stage or state.
    the time of early manhood or womanhood: the prime of youth.
    the period or state of greatest perfection or vigor of human life: a man in his prime.
    the choicest or best part of anything.
    (especially in the grading of U.S. beef) a grade, classification, or designation indicating the highest or most desirable quality.
    the beginning or earliest stage of any period.
    the spring of the year.
    the first hour or period of the day, after sunrise.
    Banking . prime rate.
    Ecclesiastical . the second of the seven canonical hours or the service for it, originally fixed for the first hour of the day.
    Mathematics .
    prime number.
    one of the equal parts into which a unit is primarily divided.
    the mark (′) indicating such a division: a, a′.
    Fencing . the first of eight defensive positions.
    Music .
    unison ( def. 2 ) .
    (in a scale) the tonic or keynote.
    Linguistics . any basic, indivisible unit used in linguistic analysis.
    Metallurgy . a piece of tin plate free from visible defects.

    As you can see there are many definitions of the word Prime. If you have half a brain you would not be confused between a transformer prime and optimus prime. This lawsuit has no merit whatsoever.

  • merlintw

    if it sprouts arms and legs and shoots lasers then I will be on Hasbros side. Otherwise they are wasting their money…

  • AndroidFan

    Too bad. I pre-ordered it and it was delayed once. I hope the delay is not going to be extended because of this.

  • Thomas Taylor

    OK, look. It’s clear that Android and Me is going to be doing a lot of reporting on intellectual property law over the next while. Great – glad to have you guys on the case. But you would do well to bone up on vocabulary and principles a little bit. This is a trademark case, not a copyright case. There is no such thing as “brand copyright.” Additionally, brand confusion, which you refer to in the graf after the Hasbro quote, is not the only basis on which one can pursue a trademark claim. Hasbro’s angle (and I have to say I think it’s a pretty strong case) is what you hint at in the next graf, which is that ASUS is taking advantage of Hasbro’s trademarks to sell its product.

    Here’s a nice article that covers the three main instruments of intellectual property law: patents, trademarks, and copyright:

    Follow the links for additional information on each. I’m not a lawyer, and don’t understand all the nuances of IP law, but the basics are worth getting a handle on if there’s all this reporting to be done.

  • megatec45

    I sue you, you sue me, we sue everybody! When is all this corporate nonsense going to stop?
    When are companies just going to create new and exciting inventions without trying to stop everyone who can make their inventions better?

  • Dan Jones

    I can’t honestly say I expected this. I played with Tranformers as a kid, watched the cartoon, and loved the recent movies. Even so, I never made any sort of mental connection to the ASUS Transformer Prime and Hasbro’s Transformer, Optimus Prime. They’re such different things, that it never occured to me to think of them as being related in any way whatsoever, and I’m betting that ASUS didn’t either. This is so silly and absurd. If Hasbro hadn’t done this lawsuit, I never would’ve seen the similarity in the name. If anything, Hasbro’s guilty of trying to cash in on ASUS’s popularity and not the other way around.

  • beatrixasdfghjk.

    Mmhm, I think Hasbro do have a case, but it’s not like ASUS can’t just change the name … though it’d be pretty bad for all that packaging.

    • jlp

      Slap a sticker on the box with the new name “ASUS Hasbrosucks!” Done.

  • unwiredmedic

    Where do you suppose this would have gone if it was called a John Deere? It’s a brand recognizable name, that in this case is not from two similar manufacturers or product lines, but the naming could be construed to be a product endorsement, like the old Chevy Beretta lawsuit from Beretta firearms. Although the ASUS and the robot toy aren’t the same manufacturer or type of product line, I thought there was a licensing deal struck for this initially.

    Maybe Hasbro will settle on licensing the name and save the court battle, and ASUS can come out with a special edition Optimus Prime or Rodimus Prime or movie themed edition with a skin and accessories (yeah right).

    • Steven Nutt

      Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if they do manage to wangle a deal, I could see both companies profiting from a deal like this especially if they can movie theme it then put 1 of the HD movies on the Prime and a direct store link to the others.

      I think that Hasbro are just pissed that Asus didn’t ask them first and so they’re missing out on the action (I would be).

  • Inuk Jung

    ASUS Origami

  • Zeratoda1

    Does this mean its going to stop the product launch? i really want it to come out before my birthday which is just a month and few days away

  • jst4tim

    I saw this coming when they first released the name.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Surprise surprise. Everyone copies the cool kids(i.e apple and microsoft) one or 2 companies now toy manufactuers are getting stupid like the rest of them. REALLY?? Come hasbro.


    I too seen this as a possible issue…… but I could care less as long as they give me one ;D

  • ndub21

    I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. But yea, not sure that anyone would mix these two up. People have done dumber things before though, so it’s definitely possible.

  • pghahaha

    Patents+trademarks=headache for me :P

  • jimtravis

    This cements it, the lawsuits are getting totally out of hand. Hopefully, the dispute will not delay the tablet longer than it has already been delayed.

  • eliander mendoza

    saw it coming i shoulda have worn them :(

  • Ilyse Rose

    This is just getting ridiculous, not that they don’t have a point, but it’s just another crazy lawsuit.

  • Hurracayne_dre

    Jesus Hasbro has a showed that has been on TV for about a year called Transformers Prime

  • Marcus

    I was wondering if Hasbro was going to sue ASUS… But I think its ridiculous. Wouldn’t Hasbro be benefiting from this if ASUS was to sell the Transformer Prime? It doesn’t make any sense. Lawsuits don’t make sense to me. -_-

  • Skis03

    I saw this coming a long time ago. The Transformer name and Prime. What were they thinking. Probably why Galaxy Nexus didn’t become Nexus Prime.

  • sap 26

    Yes, because the REAL reason I’m getting the Transformer Prime is because of its similarities to the fictional, shape-shifting big rig NOT the fact that it’s the biggest and baddest tablet of 20…err…2012. This has been the year of “hurry up and wait” for me.

  • vid500

    Ok, but seriously haven’t they see that coming? They should have make an agreemant with them before.

  • BrotherL

    They couldn’t ask for a name change before the product was released? Anyway, these patent lawsuits are getting out of control. I’m not familiar with the rules/laws and inner workings of copyright/patents but for Hasbro to be suing Asus over words that has been part of a language that came way before they did is ridiculous.

    • ralphwiggum1

      The name sounds like it’s playing off Transformers, and it no doubt is. Android is a type of (?) robot and so are Transformers. Except Transformers are copyrighted by Hasbro.

      Many brands are just words but there can be no denying (at least part of the reason) these words were chosen.

  • cthonctic

    I think they are actually obliged to “protect their IP” or else be liable for professional misconduct to their shareholders or somesuch. Corporate law shenanigans.
    But wouldn’t they have had to get trademark protection in the consumer electronics category for this claim to hold any weight?

    • ralphwiggum1

      Again I think there is a lot of weight behind Hasbro’s claim, making the words Transformer and Prime associated with robots, even if they aren’t pudgy green ones.

      But I’m no lawyer and I think it all comes down to how well they argue and what a judge decides.

      • ralphwiggum1

        By that I mean it won’t really prove anything. It’ll just be one persons opinion – the judge’s

  • MontyX

    All armadillos have been feared now by the Hasbro, because these are transformers…

  • Vance

    I’ll make a quick comment on “winning”… the only real winners in these kinds of frivolous lawsuits are the lawyers. Hasbro doesn’t “lose” anything nor does ASUS gain anything by naming their newest transformer “Prime”. ASUS can also argue that by NOT seeking damages for its original use of “Transformer” in the TF101, Hasbro itself has set a precedent that the name does not constitute “intellectual property”. Calling a second generation device Prime shouldn’t undo that precedent since “Prime” is even less commonly associated with Hasbro than “Transformer” is. Lastly… the fact is it will cost both companies more to fight it out in court than it will to just settle, so, unfortunately I would bet ASUS ultimately bites the bullet and pays a median settlement for which we, the hapless, consumer will ultimately pay.

  • Martjn2

    All this lawsuis, this one is resonable though..

  • cmorris

    The Asus tablet is only increasing the stock in the Transformer name, what do they want to get out of this? Asus is going to have to cover their losses? It wasn’t them that approved the budget for the upcoming Battleship movie.

  • HoLfElDeR

    Transformers are mad :D

  • Michael

    considering the name of the current Transformers TV series is Transformers Prime (literally one letter off) AND it’s going into it’s second season in Feb, I would be more inclined to blame a lazy legal department for clearing this tablet’s name for ASUS. at least do a Google search before you print the boxes up. lol

  • honourbound68

    another asinine lawsuit.

  • donger

    haha another lawsuit.

  • ld6772

    I’m only surprised that paramount aren’t jumping on the bandwagon. To be honest I think it’s a pretty crappy name for the device though.

  • pekosROB

    Got an update from Amazon about my Prime order. Looks like it won’t be until January 26th that it will ship! Shucks!

    On a completely different note, I’m still grumbling I can’t enter today’s contest! Oh well!

  • GRRemlin

    While I am surprised it took that long for the lawsuits to appear, ASUS could be more original.
    I understand their point as well, but heck…

  • Mr_Armageddon

    I don’t think Asus hasuch to really worry about in court as they and Hasbro are in non-competing markets.

    Now if only my Prime would get out of backorder purgatory…

  • HogFan77

    I’m shocked that Hasbro took as long as they did to sue!

  • n25philly

    And so ends the plans for 2013′s octo-core tablet the “ASUS Optimus FU Hasbro Prime”

  • keridel

    Why not go into a marketing campaign together? make the transformer prime look like optimus prime. and have him advertise it!

  • Louis A

    Moral to this story, before you started up any tech business, lawyer up!!

  • http://None Javier Bastardo

    Yeah, lets wait until the thing gets released and see if it makes any revenue. Wait what? what are you saying? Transformer Prime best most powerful and cool Android-tablet around? People, to the lawsuit-mobile!

  • Billy

    Hasbro legal team nickname = Decepticons. bwahahaha.

  • GeauxLSU

    The legal question I have is, did Hasbro give up any legal ground by allowing the original ASUS Transformer?

  • firestarter99

    this is the dumbest sue i have ever heard of. why wait till the second gen of the product to come out to sue and also do they really think that people will mistake a tablet for one of their toys how dumb do they really think we are.

  • Danerisms

    I think Hasbro took notice of the Transformer name but did not have a lot to stand on. But come on, Transformer Prime is really pushing it! Asus should have reached out and partnered with Hasbro! Maybe they will come out with a special edition Optimus out of the suit!

  • Marc’us H.

    Are lawyers and companies REALLY that bored these days? I mean, yeah, I get that “Transformer Prime” is in essence “Transformer Optimus Prime” but I really don’t think ASUS was trying to cheapen anything that Michael Bay hasn’t already done himself (zing!). It’s a fine product (based on reviews), so it’s not like they sullied the name.

    • RevSpaminator

      Trademark law is the problem. If you don’t defend trademarks they lose their potency. Then down the road “Transformer” becomes transformer and can be applied to just about anything leaving Hasbro no control over the name. So yeah, our corporate law is structured so that if aren’t a jerk, you won’t stay in business long.

  • Lewis McGeary

    So here’s the cynical view on why this has happened now and not earlier!

    It’s a bit late in proceedings for Asus to make changes and they probably don’t want anything to delay the rollout of products. Hasbro aren’t really going to lose out by the tablets name, but Asus may well just pay them off, to avoid the delay caused by lawsuits etc.

    If Hasbro had raised the issue earlier, Asus would have had time to change things, Hasbro would have gained nothing. By leaving it to now, where time is a big factor for Asus and everything is in motion, Hasbro will get money so Asus can get on with getting their product out!

    • jlp

      This is exactly why companies patent stuff, then wait until there are infringing products out and widely deployed before they “notice” and sue. They figure they are much more likely to get paid off rather than have the offender change their product to not infringe. Hence, why you’re hearing about these patents that were issued in the 90′s just now getting attention with infringing products that have been out for several years.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Apple should be getting sued

  • TruFactz

    Ok so wheres the lawsuit with LG, this patent war is really getting tiresome. So does Timberland get to sue LRG cause they talk about the forest??? Does RocaWear own the rights to the “RW” because i coulda swore in the tech world that means Read-write or re-writable. What about Apple? Can God sue cause I’m sure he has a patent on fruit names…..

  • ranwanimator

    Hasbro was going to come out with a kids line of tablets and call them Transformer Primes, but now they can’t do that without looking like copycats thus the lawsuit.

    /Totally Unfounded Speculation/

  • Jack Thakar

    While the Transformer Prime name could be seen as infringing on the Transformer, Optimus Prime, I think Asus is safe. There is no way anyone could confuse a $500 tablet with a brand of toys.

  • RevSpaminator

    I suggest they work out a deal. Motorola credits Lucas with the “droid” copyright. Why doesn’t ASUS do the same for Hasbro. They could even include an Autobot sticker in the box and add some Transformer promoting app to their preinstalled software. Win-win for everyone.

    • RevSpaminator

      “Motorola credits Lucas with the ‘droid’ copyright”

      That should have been “trademark”.


  • AnthonyRyan

    Oh wow Hasbro just shut up and make a profit off of the name who cares that Asus did that agree with a settlement and that’s it don’t try and get the name changed

  • Joshua Melling

    I was expecting this!

  • Craig Mogi

    I think Hasbro missed an opportunity here. They should have partnered with Asus and used it as a marketing tool and maybe even made some special tablets with some special branding to make it optimus prime tablet. Instead they decided to go this route hoping for easier money, how disappointing.

    • Lewis McGeary

      Yeah, but I’m more disappointed in Asus. Although this lawsuit is annoying, there where several reasons to steer clear of ‘Prime’, the obvious Transformer->prime connection, the Nexus Prime rumours, and the LG Optimus.
      The Transformer Prime is the top Android tablet, it would be cheapened by any gimmicky cross-marketing, and could be hampered by lawsuits. Could have been easily avoided!

      • Craig Mogi

        That is a very valid point, those are reasons to avoid the ‘Prime’ title. But I don’t feel, IMHO, that it cheapens the tablet by any means. Let’s face it, Asus is doing a good enough of a job of that with this whole product release fiasco, as well as some of the units going out faulty in one aspect or another. Not to say that they’re all bad, but still, it’s been a rough start for this Tablet. I think that in the spirit of the device trying to be the best naming it with a ‘Prime’ is somewhat fitting.That being said, you are absolutely right, the lawsuit could have been easily avoided. But in spite of that all, I’m still very much looking forward to my pre-order being delivered.

  • kungpaodragon

    Haha. I don’t blame Hasbro but it’s actually really funny. i mean, other than the name, there is no connection between the two, at least nothing obvious. I doubt the name itself actually helped much with the sales of Transformer or Transformer Prime. But Hasbro waited so now they will want to claim part of the profit of the tablets.

  • humidity

    I heard Chuck Norris once urinated in a semi-truck gas tank as a joke. That truck is now known as Optimus Prime… lol I know it’s bad!

  • dacatalyst41

    I hate frivolous lawsuits as much as the next man but…..if you didnt see this one comin, slap yoself! LOL!

  • psipher

    In other news, Hasbro sues Navy for using the name Battleship.

  • WlfHart

    Sue happy for the holidays…

  • Kent Burton

    you will all ways the be the transformer prime to me.

  • yungsir2

    this is crazy!!!

  • Kevin Amundson

    ‘Tis the season for lawsuits…

  • Jimmy13

    It’s terrible I am still in a heated law suit with them over my use of prime numbers seeing as I used prime to describe the numbers and since they’re numbers plural and they made multiple transformers movies I’m screwed.

  • DroidPower

    I bet Optimus Prime (if it were alive) would be more than happy to have such an awesome device associated with its name/lineage.

    Idea: have Asus pitch the idea of having their Transformer Primes to be used in the next transformers movie…

  • LilSmurf2009

    It was only a matter of time.

  • martin0176

    Going this way Microsoft should sue Home Depot for selling windows.

  • Johnston212

    I think everyone is missing the biggest idiocy of them all. If Hasbro REALLY was committed to protecting it’s Copyrighted IP, then why the hell did they wait for the PRIME when they could have started with the original Transformer? If they own the rights to the PRIME, then they also own the rights to Transformer, since they should own the rights to entire franchise. Hopefully one of ASUS’ lawyers will consider bringing that up in court. Isn’t there also some exclusion on Copyright violations when something becomes so commonplace, such as the name of an iconic action hero-bot and tv series from the last 20 years?

  • Hall Lo

    Emm… actually from day 1 when I know about this tablet I saw this coming LOL, but never knew it would really come true…

  • jeroenvdw

    Actually, I’m surprised that Asus isn’t sued by Apple yet, since the names EEEpad and iPad may also sound the same (at least it does in my language…)

  • caelim

    This is lame….

  • moik

    new patent war strategy:

    1) find a popular product that is potentially patent infringing or at least close enough that old geezer courts won’t be smart enough to tell the difference

    2) wait til the last minute so they cannot make any changes

    3) go lawsuit-happy and reap in the royalties.

  • Bryce

    I don’t really get why they are suing. They get free publicity