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Hasbro, a maker of toys and various content, has sued Asustek Computer for use of the words "Transformer" and "Prime" in the name of the company's latest media tablet. The outcome of the suit is completely unclear, but it will definitely attract attention to the Nvidia Tegra 3-powered Asus Transformer Prime tablet.

"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," a statement by Hasbro published by PaidContent web-site reads.

Even though Asustek Computer has never publicly associated its media tablets with optional keyboards with the Transformers toys or universe, the word "Prime" in the name of the latest slates clearly points to Optimus Prime, the head of Autobots in the Transformers universe. Hasbro believes that Asustek's tablets confuse end-users and attempt to attract attention using a well-known name.

Asus Transformer Prime tablet is powered by Nvidia Tegra 3 system-on-chip with four high-performance ARM Cortex-A9 cores, low-power ARM Cortex-A9 core, GeForce-class graphics engine and various special-purpose hardware. The system boasts with 1280*800 screen as well as optional keyboard.

Asustek did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: ASUS, Transformer, Transformer Prime, Hasbro

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 12/22/11 04:45:55 PM
Latest comment: 12/29/11 03:34:26 PM
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[1-5]

1. 
wow, that's even more BS than bethesda sueing notch for calling his game "scrolls"
Why don't these clowns in the legal profession do something useful for a change, like sort out the whole software patent mess?
0 0 [Posted by: Malice  | Date: 12/22/11 04:45:55 PM]
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2. 
Maybe Hasbro should sue Kirby vacuums for creating a device that "transforms" from a vacuum to a carpet cleaner. I wouldn't want anyone to confuse that awesome sucking power for Bumblebee!!!
0 0 [Posted by: JingleBerry  | Date: 12/22/11 06:40:02 PM]
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3. 
If "Transformer" and "Prime" are trademarked, Hasbro might have a case. Otherwise they're just blowing steam
0 0 [Posted by: Andle Riddum  | Date: 12/23/11 07:28:44 AM]
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Separatelly no, but both in the same context...hmm...I am not that sure anymore
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 12/23/11 10:11:09 AM]
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"A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils." - Wikipedia

--- How can you trademark a common notion?

"Prime" - is also a common word.

How about registering "the" and suing everybody who uses "the"?

Or maybe Hasbro are thinking that tablets are toys? :D
0 0 [Posted by: Zingam  | Date: 12/24/11 11:36:29 AM]
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4. 
I think hasbro is correct to sue, the second i saw the commercial i was wondering if they were going to be sued, or if they had actually asked hasbro before hand.

The difference between a legitimaite lawsuit and a illegitamite one is whether you just sue to have the other party change the name slightly, or whether you sue for damages. I dont think at this point hasbro has had any damages from the name, but Asus should be forced to just market it as transformer, or as prime, not both together.
0 0 [Posted by: cashkennedy  | Date: 12/27/11 01:11:52 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
Ive never seen any technology item advertised as prime, the fact they did shows clearly they tried to make it transformer esque, in my opinion not to hurt transformers / hasbro, but just to make the item sound cool to geeky nerds who watched the show years ago.

Common technology adjectives are ultimate, pro, premium, deluxe. Prime has never been used on any product i know of. They should be forced to switch it to transformer premium / or their choice of adjectives that arent proper names within the show transformers.
0 0 [Posted by: cashkennedy  | Date: 12/27/11 01:14:55 PM]
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5. 
Best of these was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Macintosh_7100

You can't make this stuff up.

"The Power Macintosh 7100's internal code name was "Carl Sagan", the in-joke being that the mid-range PowerMac 7100 would make Apple "billions and billions."... when Sagan learned of this internal usage he sued Apple Computer.. <he lost> ..Apple engineers complied with his demands anyway, renaming the project "BHA" (for Butt-Head Astronomer). Sagan promptly sued Apple for libel over the new name, claiming that it subjected him to contempt and ridicule, but lost this lawsuit as well." -
0 0 [Posted by: tsnor  | Date: 12/29/11 03:34:26 PM]
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