2008-07-30 01:58:05 GMT 2008-07-30 09:58:05 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhuanet) -- The popular word game Scrabulous has been removed from the U.S. and Canadian versions of online social network Facebook after Hasbro sued the online game makers, the site said Tuesday.
Users who attempt to access the service on their Facebook account will be greeted with a note that reads "Scrabulous is disabled for U.S. and Canadian users until further notice."
The social networking site said Scrabulous creators Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla and their company RJ Softwares made the decision after Hasbro said Scrabulous infringes on its intellectual property by copying and threatening to diminish its Scrabble brand.
Scrabulous is the popular Web knock-off version of Hasbro's official Scrabble. Hasbro sued the makers of Scrabulous last week, shortly after its Electronic Arts-developed official online Scrabble game became available on Facebook.
Hasbro filed its lawsuit in the Southern District of New York last week, claiming RJ Softwares, an offshore software and Web services provider, infringed on its intellectual property.
The lawsuit calls the online word game Scrabulous a "clear and blatant" infringement of Scrabble's intellectual property. It says Scrabulous uses "essential and original elements" of the famous board game and argues that the names "Scrabulous" and "Scrabble" are "confusingly similar."
The knock-off game was counting over 500,000 daily active users on Facebook as of last week.
Currently, Scrabulous is still available on overseas versions of Facebook -- where the rights are owned by Mattel, and not Hasbro -- as well as on Scrabulous.com. Mattel owns the rights to the game in nearly 120 other countries.