Hasbro is not playing games when it comes to protecting its Scrabble trademark online -- and at the same time moving to capture a large market of devoted players at Facebook.
More than 500,000 people played a Scrabble-like crossword game called Scrabulous each day at Facebook. Hasbro, which has licensed the online rights to the Scrabble board game to Electronic Arts, sued the developers of Scrabulous, and EA launched its own version of Scrabble on Facebook. Now Scrabulous has disappeared from US and Canadian versions of the social network, clearing the path for the official, branded version of the game.
Some see Hasbro as the heavy -- read the comments here -- and certainly the company erred by allowing Scrabulous to grow so popular before moving to protect its valuable franchise. Maybe the big game company could have worked out a less-drastic solution. But Hasbro had to do something.
Meanwhile, the developers of Scrabulous courted trouble by giving their game a name so similar to its famous predecessor.