Entrepreneurs sued over Scrabble naming rights
Wednesday, January 16, 2008/
A battle over naming rights is brewing on social networking site Facebook.
Scrabble’s owner, Hasbro, has issued a cease and desist notice to Indian brothers Rajat Agarwalla, aged 26, and Jayant Agarwalla, 21 (pictured at right), the developers of the popular word-based game Scrabulous, Fortune magazine reports.
The Agarwalla brothers earn an estimated $US25,000 a month in advertising revenue from Facebook thanks to the game, which has had more than 2.3 million users since its launch on Facebook in June 2007.
Meanwhile, Hasbro signed an agreement with software company Electronic Arts to create an electronic and online version of its board games, including Scrabble and Monopoly.
This is not the first time Hasbro has taken legal action to protect its IP. In 2005, Hasbro shut down the unofficial online game called e-scrabble.
Scrabble is a big money earner for Hasbro. More than 100 million sets of Scrabble have been sold worldwide in 121 countries and 29 different language versions. Scrabble sets are said to be found in one out of every three American homes.