Hasbro sues ASUS over tablet name

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Not the guy, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Not the guy

    Not the guy Well-Known Member

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    Not quite sure if it goes here or in the even more general forum but yeah, they finally decided to sue them after they released their Transformer Prime tablet, though they didn't sue when they first made their Transformer 1 so I don't know how it's gonna turn out.

    Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime tablet | The Verge
     
  2. Kaymac

    Kaymac I'M REALLY FEELIN' IT!

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    I love how everyone there thinks it's infringing on "Optimus Prime". XD

    No, it's infringing on Transformers Prime, the show.
     
  3. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Huh.
    I wonder if HAS will sue LG over their OPTIMUS phone.
     
  4. Shockwave9227

    Shockwave9227 I'm actually 16.

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    I wonder when Hasbro will sue the company that made the Optimus fan? (I own it BTW)
     
  5. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    I think it's interesting Hasbro is pursuing action against these companies and not 3rd party toy companies. It's good for us, I suppose.
     
  6. daitarn red

    daitarn red bionic hero

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    please read rule 3
     
  7. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    Politics has nothing to do with this.
     
  8. Transquito

    Transquito Reach For The Light

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    Will you please stop acting like a freaking moderator?..
     
  9. DPrime

    DPrime Well-Known Member

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    Who wrote this crap?

    Seems pretty obvious to me - it gives the impression that this is some sort of endorsement or licensed product, which it is not.

    It could be both, depending on how familiar one is with the TF brand.

    Someone who hasn't even heard of the new TF Prime show would still see this and think of Optimus Prime or just Transformers in general.

    Apples and oranges, I guess.

    iGear Seekers and Prime molds aside, it'd be difficult to maintain any claim on G1 character models when they don't match EXACTLY and in most cases haven't been used in 20+ years anyway, especially when the third parties don't claim to be Transformers or use licensed names.

    Also, ASUS is a pretty big brand, whereas third party companies are a very small niche market. The ASUS thing could be potentially more damaging, as it would confuse a lot of customers (third party customers know exactly what they're getting) and probably open the doors for other companies to take advantage of brand recognition by using the names Transformers and Prime.
     
  10. daitarn red

    daitarn red bionic hero

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    each state court is part of govert
     
  11. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    Legal issues over trademarks are not politics.
     
  12. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Fuck it, I'm still buying a Transformer Prime tablet and throwing this iPad out.

    Because Asus actually made a cool tablet, and I don't really care enough about Hasbro to let the name of a product stop me from buying it. :) 

    Anyways, it's good to see that....well, at least they're trying to take on other companies. They're just going about it in an awful way, and since it's something I was planning to buy, and products currently being sued in Australia can't be sold until said court action is over (which is why I still haven't got a Galaxy Tablet), this has a really high chance of pissing me off.

    Still, wont stop me from importing the tablet. :) 
     
  13. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    Exactly. I guess everything can be linked to politics if you think hard enough, but I'd be very surprised to see this topic get axed under those grounds.

    In other news... Fresh off the heels of KO Toys' destruction, Swindle & friends are open for business once again!
     
  14. GogDog

    GogDog Logic's wayward son Veteran

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    Nothing in this thread violates Rule 3. Thank you.
     
  15. PrimusVsUnicron

    PrimusVsUnicron Well-Known Member

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    i smell a troll *cough* daitarn red *cough*
     
  16. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    I agree with the second part. Trademark doesn't die like patents or copyright. Also, it doesn't have to be an exact mode, just an imitation of its likeness. The molds are not protected by fair use, they are used for-profit in a regime that avoids dropping the names "Transformers", "Autobots", or any of the character names etc. These companies wouldn't have a chance in court if Hasbro chose to proceed.

    But I think you hit the nail on the head. Asus, as a big brand itself, would be cashing in on the names that Hasbro has promoted for over 25 years now. There's big $ in suits against Asus. There's no money in going after 3rd party infringers, and the market is very niche-- mostly older collectors. If these 3rd parties started marketing in Toys R Us and big stores like that, they'd get shot down faster than Starscream in the year 2005. As it stands now, 3rd party and Hasbro products are complementary of each other, not pure substitutes.
     
  17. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Okay, time for the obligatory trademark 101.

    Usually, trademarks are filed under specific categories. For anything related to "Transformers", this would have been primarily in the "toys" category. So anyone else calling their toys "Transformers" would be infringing on Hasbro's trademark. A company making garbage cans would not be in direct competition with Hasbro, and therefore could use the name without problems.

    However, with the popularity of the movies in general, Hasbro has gradually broadened the scope of the brand by including a variety of categories. "Media and entertainment" or similar has been there since 1984, but a lot of additional categories were added due to licensing deals.

    What we have now is a situation where "Transformers" and "Optimus Prime" are a very well-known household names thanks to the movies. So anyone who uses a combination of "Transformer" and "Prime" is arguably trying to cash in on the success of the brand by creating "brand confusion". Basically, because "Transformers" is so well-known, Asus is almost certainly banking on customers associating their product with Hasbro's brand. Since it's not a licensed Hasbro product, this can qualify as trademark infringement. The combination of "Transformer" and "Prime" would probably be the biggie here. "Transformer" and "Prime" by themselves are a gray area ("Prime" even moreso), but "Transformer Prime" is pretty blatant.

    It doesn't work with names like "Prowl" or "Mirage". It only works with the really big names. Just last year Hasbro pressured a company rename their user interface technology for cars originally named "AutoBot" into something else. I seriously doubt they could do the same thing with "Maximal".

    Because trademarks are different from copyrights. This is the reason why third party companies call their toys "Doctor Haul" or "Battle Protector" instead of a name Hasbro has trademarked.
     
  18. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    While I agree, I can see his point. Technically, legal talk is political talk. Court cases are handled by the judicial branch of government. The laws used in the cases are written by the legislative branch, and signed by the executive branch. I'm kinda surprised it's not a violation actually.
     
  19. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    This times a million.
     
  20. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    TMs don't just protect names, they protect images and likenesses. The Mickey Mouse character is not just copyrighted, it's trademarked. Super Mario is not just copyrighted code but a TM'd character. You can have registered trademarks like "Honda" which give notice to anyone thinking of using the Honda brand name and unregistered trademarks, probably like most characters, which would have to be upheld in court as being legitimately trademarkeable in a litigation. Anything can be trademarked--or argued to be trademarked--as long as it can be tied to a company. I Hasbro would have a case against most 3rd party companies, whether they'd win and whether the fan fallout is worth it are different stories.

    Changing the name certainly helps release it from some liability, but it's not a get out of jail free card.

    In that case, talk of importing Japanese toys would be "political talk" too since imports/exports are regulated by law.
     

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