Hasbro (HAS) finally filed suit against the Agarwalla brothers, the duo behind the popular Facebook app, Scrabulous. The company says it filed a copyright and trademark suit in New York against Kolkata, India-based RJ Softwares, and both Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, and sent a DMCA takedown notice demanding Facebook remove the application.
Mark Blecher, general manager of Hasbro Digital Media, told CNET:
This is theft of intellectual property. It’s really no different from when the recording industry faced the issue of folks posting music on sites like Napster and letting them copy it for free.
Just last spring Hasbro was one of four companies with a stake in Scrabble–including Electronic Arts (ERTS), RealNetworks (RNWK) and Mattel (MAT)–that at least said they wanted to negotiate with the Agarwalla brothers rather than sue them into oblivion. But those talks have stalled over price. The Argawalla brothers launched Scrabulous two years ago, and now it has 500,000 daily players.
For its part, Hasbo says it put Scrabble fans first by waiting until Electronic Arts launched an official Scrabble Facebook app before attempting to squash Scrabulous. That app, launched this month, has a paltry 8,862 users. We still think this one gets settled out of court, with a check.