Surprised it took this long.
When ASUS released their Eee Pad Transformer tablet in April this year, we did raise an eyebrow thinking about the name. The remarkable Honeycomb powered tablet from ASUS had the advantage of literally transforming between a tablet and a fully functioning laptop, thanks to the keyboard attachment. Sure the product justified the name back then, and probably due to ASUS not using Transformer in a plural sense, Hasbro didn’t make a big fuss about it.
However, last month ASUS launched the new Tegra 3 powered tablet, but instead of naming it ‘Eee Pad Transformer 2′ they went ahead and named it the ‘Transformer Prime’ which probably all the lawyers at Hasbro needed to come out with their patents in hand. And sure enough, late last week Hasbro Inc. sued Asus Computer International Inc. in Los Angeles Federal Court over violation of trademarks related to their ‘Transformers’ line of toys.
As Moco News notes, “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,” said Barbara Finigan, Hasbro’s chief legal officer, said in a statement. “The Transformers property is an incredibly popular global brand which enjoys tremendous fan support and interest around the world. The action we have announced today is in the best interests of our company and our shareholders.”
Given the popularity of the Transformers brand name after the three movies, it’s likely that the case maybe ruled in favor of Hasbro, and that ASUS may well end up re-branding their tablets. Admittedly if you run an image search for Transformer Prime on Google, all you’ll get on the first page is Optimus Prime.