Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime name, Megatron nods in approval

Well, the obvious has happened. Just before Christmas, Hasbro has decided to summon its inner grinch and sue Asus over the combination of ‘Transformer’ and ‘Prime’ in the name of its new quad-core tablet.

The toymaker said in a statement:

“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.”

It’s notable that the license holders of the Transformers line of toys waited until the second iteration of the Asus Transformer tablet to sue, most likely because with just the single word in the name they knew they wouldn’t have a case. It’s unlikely they have much more of a case now — the copyright protects the Transformers name from being used in a similar context, and a tablet is nothing like an action figure — but a Californian court will have to decide that.

Asus has not responded to inquiries about the case, but it does raise some questions: why did the company knowingly call the successor to the popular tablet something that combines two words most people knowingly associate with the Transformers franchise? And with the name booming in recent years as movies and video games proliferate, it’s going to be hard for Asus to convince the judge that they had no idea of the potent combination.

Source: Paid Content


  • Daniel Bader

    Daniel has been writing about technology since 2010 and tinkering with it since before Radiohead was a band. He's an avid dog lover, owning Irish Wolfhounds since childhood, and loves to cook, read and play competitive dodgeball.