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Hasbro accuses Asus of stealing Transformer Prime name

Trademark infringement lawsuit claims new tablet causes consumer confusion with the children's toys.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
A Transformer Hasbro

Hasbro is accusing Asus of hijacking one of its trademarks with the release of the Transformer Prime tablet.

The toymaker claimed in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court last week that the electronics maker is creating confusion by blending the "Transformers" and Optimus Prime names. Hasbro said in a statement that Asus is counting on consumers associating the new tablet with children's toys to sell the Transformer Prime.

"Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brands and products and 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 to PaidContent.

Hasbro is seeking damages and an injunction preventing sales of the tablet.

Asus could not be reached for comment.

While the 10.3-inch tablet doesn't undergo a magical metamorphosis to a giant robot, it does transform into what is essentially an Android-based laptop when connected to an optional keyboard/dock.

The Asus Transformer Prime in all its glory (photos)

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