Hasbro loses bid to stop Asus’s ‘Transformer Prime’

March 28, 2012

Asus has the right to use the “Transformer Prime” name on its tablet, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, dismissing toymaker Hasbro’s request to block the electronics maker from selling the devices while a trademark lawsuit is pending.

The toy company contends that by using the name of its Transformers line of robot toys for another device, Asus will confuse consumers who may think the tablet is a Hasbro product. Last December. Hasbro filed suit against the computer firm in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles over the use of the name and requested that Asus be banned from selling its tablets until the case is resolved.

According to a report from paidContent, the judge in the case said that he does not believe that consumers will confuse the tablet with the Hasbro’s popular line of toys. Hasbro contends that the company is using Hasbro trademarks.

“There is nothing gimmicky about the Eee Pad Transformer or the Eee Pad Transformer Prime,” the judge wrote, adding that the fact that the tablets actually do transform — thanks to an attachable keyboard — helped Asus’s case.

The toy company was not happy with the decision. In a statement released late Wednesday afternoon, it said that “Hasbro strongly disagrees with the Court’s decision not to preliminarily enjoin Asus’ use of those marks, however we were pleased with the Court’s views on the strength of Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERS and TRANSFORMERS PRIME marks. While the case proceeds toward trial, Hasbro will continue to actively pursue this matter and will take all steps necessary to protect its globally recognized and established marks.”

Hasbro also sued the makers of Scrabulous several years ago for the Facebook game’s similarity to the classic Scrabble board game, though it eventually dropped the suit in 2010 after developers changed the online game.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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