Hasbro can’t halt use of ‘transformer,’ says judge

HASBRO INC. lost its bid for a court order barring a computer company’s use of “transformers” in connection with its products.
Posted 4/2/12

PAWTUCKET - Hasbro Inc., maker of the Mr. Potato Head and My Little Pony toys, lost its bid for a court order barring a computer company’s use of “transformers” in connection with its products.

The Pawtucket-based toymaker filed suit in federal court in Los Angeles in December, accusing Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. (2357) of infringing the “Transformer” trademarks. Hasbro uses the mark for a series of action figures and games, and objected to Asustek’s use of the mark with some of its tablet computers.

In a March 23 order, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez said that Hasbro waited too long to complain about the computer company’s actions. He said that despite the toymaker’s knowledge of the computer company’s intent to market a product using the “Transformer” name at the beginning of 2011, the suit wasn’t brought until December,

He said that the computer company submitted “uncontroverted evidence that considerable hardship will result” from the recall of its products already in circulation and that Hasbro produced “no substantive evidence that it will suffer any non-compensable injury” if he didn’t order Asustek to quit using the term.

The case is Hasbro Inc. (HAS) (HAS) v. Asus Computer International Inc., 2:11-cv-10437-PSG-E, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

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