If you were one of the thousands of parents across Britain who bought a Tranformers Optimus Prime this Christmas you might be interested (or not!) to know that its toy maker, Hasbro, has filed a suit against computer company, Asus, for alleged trademark violation regarding the use of the name ‘Transformer Prime’ for its latest tablet pc.
Hasbro could be in for a battle, greater than any featured in the Transformer storylines, as trade mark law is made up of different classes which apply to certain categories of product so two companies can own the same trade mark as long as they are registered in different product categories.
Hasbro, however, refutes this and is arguing that the Transformers brand is expanding and they need to protect it through a wider array of goods (hmmm not so good news for our pockets then..). It is also arguing that Asus is merely leveraging off its brand for its own ends.
Big brands, like Hasbro, think nothing of coming after companies they believe are piggy-backing off their good name, so think carefully when toying with your prospective brand or product name.
If you haven’t yet registered your trade mark make this your New Year resolution.