Hasbro Can't Stop Asus From Using Transformer Prime Name: Court

  on March 28 2012 9:28 AM

After 4 months of jiggling, U.S. federal court has overruled Hasbro's petition to stop Asus from using Transformer Prime name in its Android tablet. The U.S. federal judge says that there is no dodgy marketing in name of the two products to confuse people.

Hasbro is well known for its Transformer series of autobot toys inspired from popular Hollywood movie title - Transformers. The first robotic toy from Hasbro named Transformer came out in 1984, and after the blockbuster movie, the popularly of its toys just rose up surprisingly. The toy maker company began broadcasting a cartoon series name Transformers Prime by the end of year 2010. The show has been aired in 170 countries so far.

On the other hand, Asus released its first Transformer tablet in spring of 2011. Asus Transformer Prime is a 10-inch Android tablet featuring quad-core Tegra 3 processor chip, 1GB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera and 32/64GB of internal storage.

Toy maker - Hasbro filed a lawsuit against Asus in Los Angeles Federal Court in December 2011. Hasbro sued Asus for trademark infringements and unfair competition. In the lawsuit, Hasbro stated that it contacted Asus around the release of tablet and requested the tablet maker not to use Transformer Prime name. Hasbro argued that it was planning to launch a Transformer-branded laptop and extend its Transformers Prime line-up of merchandise this year. But it failed to convince the judge that people can get confused into thinking that the Transformer Prime tablet is Hasbro's product or Asus's tablets harm Hasbro in any way. The judge said there is nothing deceptive or confusing with Asus using the name.

There is nothing gimmicky about the Eee Pad Transformer or the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, nor can it be said that there is any similarity in the use or function between Hasbro and Asus's products, says the judge in the ruling as reported by PaidContent.

The federal court lifted the ban on Asus's tablet placed at the time when Hasbro filed the lawsuit.

In sum, Hasbro has not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of its infringement and dilution claims. Even assuming serious questions going to the merits are raised, the present record fails to evidence a likelihood of irreparable injury or that the balance of the equities tips sharply in Hasbro's favor. Having waited until the purportedly infringing and diluting tablets had been on the market for almost a year, the Court sees no grounds for invoking the extraordinary and drastic remedy of preliminary relief that would reverse the status quo ante before the parties have had the opportunity to try the case on its merits. The motion is DENIED, the federal court concluded.

(reported by Johnny Wills, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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