Yesterday Brad Stone reported that Hasbro has filed a lawsuit against Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla, the developers behind the popular Scrabulous application. Just last week the company launched the legitimate version of Scrabble on Facebook. The application has attracted over 8,000 active daily users so far but it will be a long road before the application is competing directly with Scrabulous.
Hasbro stated, “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.” Does this mean we will soon see the end of Scrabulous? Probably not anytime soon. Back in January there were reports that Hasbro was already suing Scrabulous but no agreement was reached and it became unclear whether or not anything was going to happen.
By last week the company launched the official version of the application and there was no signs of an ongoing dispute between the Scrabulous application developers and Facebook. It appears that with Hasbro realizing how challenging it will be to beat Scrabulous directly so rather than just try to compete in the open market, Scrabulous is going to try and use the law for protection. While it’s not necessarily a bad strategy, it is unclear why Hasbro has waited so long to file a suit.
I’m sure we will be hearing more about this over the coming weeks. For now, Scrabulous is still up and running. We will have to see if it is going to stay that way.