Hasbro has filed a lawsuit against the Taiwanese tech company, Asus, for its use of the Transformer Prime name on its latest Tegra 3 Android tablet. To anyone who grew up in the 80s, it’s apparent why the lawsuit is happening as the name reflects too closely to Hasbro’s copyright of the famous shape-shifting robots that are more than meets the eye.
In a move which many saw coming when Asus first announced the Eee Pad transformer Prime in November. The lawsuit was filed with a Los Angeles court with the toy company seeking damages and an injunction against Asus.
According to a statement released by a very much annoyed Hasbro: “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.”
According to Digital Trends, Asus’s original first tablet to use the Transformer name (TF101) didn’t anger Hasbro to the point of going to court. However, with the new inclusion of the word “Prime,” Asus may have gone a bit too far as it recalls “Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots.” Furthermore, Hasbro also has a show on The Hub network called “Transformers Prime.”
While there’s no doubt that Asus had been aware of Hasbro’s copyright (Asus has done promos juxtaposing their tablet with Transformer toys), they probably thought they’d be immune as they manufacture tablets rather than transforming robots. With tech companies being sued left and right these days, it appears no one is safe and Asus will now have to pony up in court for their little geek homage.