Hasbro late last week sued ASUS for allegedly violating its trademarks with the Transformer Prime. The toy designer claims ASUS is too close to blending the Transformers and Optimus Prime names. In a statement, Hasbro asserted that ASUS was effectively banking on association with the legendary animated show, comics, and toys to sell the Transformer Prime.
"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," the company said in a statement.
While ASUS may be counting on the clear difference between a tablet and Hasbro's line as a legal safety net, the diversity of Hasbro's range may create enough of a conflict to force a name change. Many buyers have made the link themselves between the Transformer Prime and Optimus Prime, and although few if any suggest it's an official product, they may incorrectly believe that ASUS had gotten permission to use the name.
ASUS was hoping to claim an early advantage against the iPad 3 and other rivals by shipping the first quad-core Android tablet, but it has faced multiple delays and now risks a US ban even before most of the pre-orders have been fulfilled.