Back in December, Pocket-lint reported that toy brand Hasbro was taking Asus to court in the US over the latter's use of the name Transformer Prime. Hasbro argued that it was too close to its hugely successful Transformers franchise, of which the most famous character is Optimus Prime.
In addition, the toy manufacturer created a cartoon series featuring the leader of the Autobots in November 2010, which was called Transformers Prime.
Now Hasbro has lost the first part of the case; it hasn't been able to enforce a preliminary injunction on the Asus device.
A federal judge ruled that Asus can continue to sell its tablets under the name Eee Pad Transformer Prime as he refused to believe that consumers would mistake the device with a Hasbro toy product.
"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,” he said.
The judge also pointed out that the use of the word "Transformer" was accurate in the Asus case because the device could "transform" into a laptop.
As reported on PaidContent.org, Hasbro will be continuing with the rest of the case. "Hasbro strongly disagrees with the court’s decision not to preliminarily enjoin Asus’s use of those marks," it said in a statement. "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 recognised and established marks."
What do you think? Is the Transformer Prime name too close to Hasbro's property? Let us know in the comments below...