Scrabble vs. Scrabulous – the legal showdown begins

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With depressing inevitability, we bring news that Hasbro Inc, owners of the distribution rights to popular board game Scrabble have sued the creators of Facebook’s seemingly shameless rip-off, Scrabulous.

This news comes barely a couple of weeks following EA Hasbro’s launch of a legitimate, fully licensed version of the board game on Facebook. At the time, one analyst explained that the launch of a legit edition might pave the way for a legal action and it looks he was spot on. I guess we don’t call you the dark seer of the games world for nothing, Lord Pachter.

Hasbro’s dispute is simple: it says Scrabulous violates copyright and trademarks. It’s terms? It wants Facebook to take Scrabulous down and is seeking unspecified damages for Scrabulous’ petulant attempts to make the game fun. I’m kidding, not even Scrabulous is fun.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, named as defendants Scrabulous’ two creators, Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla.

Facebook was not named as a defendant, but isn’t happy that it’s going to be dragged through the muck. It isn’t about to delete everyone’s copy of Scrabulous either. “Over the past year, Facebook has tried to use its status as neutral platform provider to help the parties come to an amicable agreement,” the company said in a statement. “We’re disappointed that Hasbro has sought to draw us into their dispute.”

Disappointed maybe; but let’s face it, you’re not even slightly surprised.

We’ll be watching the proceedings of the case with interest.

Hasbro (via Wired)

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