Hasbro Sues Creators Of Scrabulous

Claims infringement

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[ Social Media]

Hasbro has sued the makers of the popular Facebook App, Scrabulous, saying it infringes on the copyrights of its game, Scrabble.

Scrabulous has more than half a million players on Facebook while Hasbro licensee Electronic Arts launched its version of Scrabble on the social network this month has just over 8,000 players.

Hasbro has also sent a DMCA take down notice to Facebook, requesting that the social networking site remove the Scrabulous application from the site.

"Hasbro has an obligation to act appropriately against infringement of our intellectual properties," said Barry Nagler, Hasbro’s general counsel, in a statement. "We view the Scrabulous application as clear and blatant infringement of our Scrabble intellectual property, and we are pursuing this legal action in accordance with the interests of our shareholders, and the integrity of the Scrabble brand."

Hasbro has taken previous legal action against Scrabulous. Mattel owns the Scrabble brand outside of North America and has sent letters to Facebook asking the site to remove the Scrabulous application.

The suit was filed in the Southern District of New York today and names Scrabulous creators, Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwall, along with their company RJ Softwares as the defendants.

Hasbro says it plans to launch more of its games on social networking sites later this year.

"Hasbro and EA have worked diligently to provide a great game play experience on Facebook, and we are confident that fans of the game will welcome a genuine experience highlighted by top of the line graphics, strong technical support, and of course, classic Scrabble game play," said Mark Blecher, General Manager, Hasbro Digital Media and Gaming.


Hasbro Sues Creators Of Scrabulous
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  • http://www.gifttrap.com/ Nick Kellet

    I’m a board game publisher ( http://www.gifttrap.com/ ) and I know lots of independent board game publishers who, like me, would  jump at the chance of getting 500k users per day playing and talking about your game even if you didn’t own the site that’s collecting $25/month in ad revenue.

    Hasbro and Mattel have both benefited from sales increases due to the born again popularity of their cash-cow game. They sell over a million copies a year when really nobody really needs another copy.

    Scrabble is a board game that’s not turn based. Scrabulous is an online game. There are as many differences as there are similarities. Scrabulous defined the bar for an online word game.

    Scrabulous have made the game work online and generated a dedicated fan base.

    Now, as a follower, Hasbro with all the fuss has only managed 10k users per day.

    Isn’t Scrabulous just a better Mouse Trap – they didn’t copy an online version as Scrabble didn’t have one. There are other copies too and I bet they aren’t being sued, simply because they haven’t created the attention or the dedicated crowd.

    There are many other "copycat" game apps on Facebook and they aren’t getting sued.

    I have total respect for the Scrabulous guys. We created a Facebook app in the vein of Free Gifts to help promote our game but getting your social app moving is no mean feat.  Translating a board game to an online game is far from obvious.

    The Free Gifts apps get 100k daily active users on Facebook, which is pretty cool. Our game precedes Free Gifts, but you can’t fight the viral nature and you’ve got to be first on the right platform.

    Check out our app here; http://apps.new.facebook.com/gifttrap/ 

    Unlike the Free Gifts app your friend gets to choose their own gift, the question is will you match. We have turned virtual gifts into a game.

    The GiftTRAP board game is on sale in Barnes and Noble right now which is pretty cool (no doubt next to Scrabble). I’m just a few million copies behind them but gaining fast, but then we do have some pretty cool awards to our name.

    I hope Facebook doesn’t drop Scrabulous. My sense is they will, but it’s hard to call.

    Lets face it it’s all about ego and it’s all about  Hasbro and Mattel not losing face.

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