Absolutely Scrabulous

Hasbro, the toy maker, which owns the rights to Scrabble in the United States and Canada, has withdrawn its copyright and trademark lawsuit filed against the creators of the online application, Scrabulous on Friday.

The Scrabulous site was launched in 2005 and the game, which was added to Facebook in 2007, bears more than a passing resemblance to Scrabble, the classic word game.

The computer version, created by India-based brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, and their company, RJ Softwares, boasted over 500,000 daily users on Facebook, but was removed from the after the lawsuit was filed in July.

Undeterred, the brothers modified Scrabulous’ design and points system, and relaunched it as Wordscraper within days of its initial demise. The Scrabulous Web site was relaunched as Lexulous.com in September.

Apparently the official Scrabble Facebook application created by Electronic Arts and launched in July has a mere 8,900 daily users.

We note that the new name is clearly different from Scrabble and fail to see how copyright provides grounds to sue. Presumably this is the reason why Hasbro have dropped the suit. A better business model might have been for Hasbro to advertise the board game on Scrabulous’ site. Ah well!

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property, trademarks

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