Hasbro vs. Scrabulous

Well, what I never thought would happen has happened. Scrabble manufacturer Hasbro has sued the creators of the Facebook application Scrabulous for intellectual property infringement. They've also asked Facebook to remove the application. This of course follows the creation and release of a Scrabble application on Facebook by Hasbro.

This brings up a number of very touchy subjects, mainly those of IP and free/bad publicity. It's been pretty obvious from the beginning that Scrabulous was a bootlegged version of Scrabble designed for Facebook. Even the most ardent fan can attest to that. But the question is, has Hasbro shot itself in the foot with this lawsuit? Internet groupies can be pretty petty, and can hold a grudge for a long, long time. While Scrabulous has nearly 500,000 registered users Hasbros new app (created by EA) has less than 10,000. And to be honest I'd be surprised if it grows past that. Hasbro came late to the party and then kicked out its competition. I'd personally like to see Hasbros sales data over the past 12 months. I'd bet that Scrabulous has served as pretty nice free PR for Scrabble sales. Hasbro might have avoided some serious bad sentiment by simply partnering with the Agarwalla brothers and let them continue to provide this service to them.