We had been wondering who had the “Z.” Now the other tile drops, and probably right onto a triple word score — Hasbro, owner of the SCRABBLE trademark, has sued Scrabulous (complaint here; exhibits here):
The general manager for digital media and gaming at Hasbro said yesterday that the company had waited until there was a “legal” version of Scrabble on Facebook before it took action against the Scrabulous creators.
The lawsuit, filed in a US district court in New York, accused Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla – two software developers based in Calcutta – of violating Hasbro’s copyright and trademarks. Facebook was not named as a defendant.
Neither brother nor any representative from their web design company, RJ Softwares, could immediately be reached for comment today.
More here. The complaint is not online yet.* We’ll try to keep you posted.
UPDATE: For what it’s worth — maybe, someday, my descendants will read this — I just remembered that my first-ever trademark research project as a paid legal professional was as a summer associate at Kaye, Scholer, where I was assigned to research a question involving some aspect of the Scrabble trademarks on behalf of client Selchow & Righter, which had then recently been purchased by Coleco and owned the rights to Scrabble before Hasbro bought them out of bankruptcy. Of course the nature of the research I did is still confidential… even to me. But I can say confidently that in the summer of 1987, it did not involve Scrabulous.
UPDATE: The offending “app” is now gone from Facebook, while a thousand utterly idiotic — but non-infringing — ones live on!
UPDATE: Victoria Pynchon does the heavy lifting:
If Player 1 opens with “fringe” (double word) for 24 points; Player 2 follows by slapping an “i” on the triple word score followed by an “n” for “infringe” and 33 points; and, Player 1 responds with “ment” for 19 points, the combined score for “infringement” is 75 points. Our readers can do the math and moves on “trademark” and copyright.”
UPDATE: And… what ever did happen to Scrabulous, you ask?
* Even though, like all District Courts, the Southern District of New York, which describes itself as the Mother of District Courts, has mandatory electronic filing, you have to file the initial pleading or case-opening document in person, then go back, scan the file and mail it back to the clerk. If t They filed on Thursday the 24th; the complaint should be was online some time Monday or Tuesday.