The companies who produce the popular word game Scrabble are trying to close down an online version called Scrabulous. The online version is one of the most used applications on Facebook, a social-networking website.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Hasbro Inc., which owns the rights to the crossword game in the U.S. and Canada, and Mattel Inc., which owns the rights elsewhere, believe that the Facebook game infringes their copyrights and trademarks.
Scrabulous listed more than 600,000 daily active users on Facebook as of Wednesday. It is one of the 10 most used applications on the website. People can also play the game at www.scrabulous.com.
The companies jointly issued cease-and-desist notices to four parties involved in the development, hosting and marketing of Scrabulous, according to a letter Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro is sending consumers who have contacted them about Scrabulous.
In a separate statement released Wednesday, Hasbro was not specific about who the four parties were, but said it was reviewing a number of options with them and hoped to find an amicable solution.
If we cannot come to one quickly, we will be forced to close down the site and its associated distribution points,” Hasbro said.
Facebook and Scrabulous did not immediately return several requests for comment.