Asus Sued Over Transformer Prime Tablet Trademark By Toymaker Hasbro

The clever naming convention chosen by Asus for its latest Android tablet, the Transformer Prime, has landed the company in hot water with toy giant Hasbro.

The sequel to the original Eee Pad Transformer, which was named for its ability to 'transform' between a tablet and an Android-powered netbook via the use of a battery-packing keyboard-laden docking station, the Transformer Prime is a tongue-in-cheek name with clear reference to Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots from the Transformers universe.

That reference, it seems, is something Hasbro is less than happy with, and the toymaker - which owns the rights to the Transformers franchise - has filed suit for trademark infringement.

The filing points to four current US trademarks revolving around the Transformers brand, and a fifth pending trademark for 'Transformers Prime,' the 2010 animated series created by the company to showcase its latest line of transforming toys.

While it's hard to argue the case for passing off - with Hasbro and Asus being in significantly different markets - it's perfectly possible that a judge will see 'Transformer Prime' and 'Transformers Prime' as close enough to be a case of trademark infringement.

That decision could be helped by Hasbro's history in computer games, which includes Transformers titles for most major consoles over the years.

Asus has yet to respond to the filing, and has been given 21 days to explain itself by the court.

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