Who knew we’d cover so many lawsuits and patents today? This evening’s lawsuit actually makes a bit of sense, though leaves us asking what the heck took so long. Toy maker Hasbro is suing ASUS, claiming that naming ASUS’ 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.