U.S. toymaker sues Indian brothers

U.S. toymaker sues Indian brothers

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 28 July 2008, 11:44 Hrs
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New York: U.S. toymaker Hasbro has filed a suit in federal court against RJ Softwares, a Kolkata-based company owned by Rajat Agarwalla and his brother Jayant Agarwalla, for creating an online word game on Facebook networking website by copying its product Scrabble.

The suit, which accuses the brothers of 'blatant infringement' of its intellectual property, seeks unspecified damages along with a court order barring RJ Softwares from using the name 'Scrabulous' for their game.

Hasbro also sent a copyright notice to Facebook, demanding that it remove Scrabulous from its site. Scrabulous is one of the most popular activities on Facebook after its launch in 2006 and is believed to have over 2.5 million registered users.

"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," Hasbro's General Counsel Barry Nagler said.

Hasbro owns the rights to Scrabble in North America, and Mattel, which owns the rights elsewhere. The company had earlier sent cease-and-desist letters to the Agarwalla brothers but the siblings issued a statement vowing to keep the application live.

Facebook said it was disappointed with Hasbro's move. "We're disappointed that Hasbro has sought to draw us into their dispute. However, we have forwarded their concerns to Scrabulous and requested their appropriate response."

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