The makers of Scrabulous launched Wordscraper, which they call a "new wordgame," on Facebook. The move comes just days after Scrabulous disappeared from Facebook in North America after Hasbro, which owns the rights to the word game Scrabble in the U.S. and Canada, demanded the removal of Scrabulous and sued. Hasbro claimed the online game was an unauthorized copy of Scrabble and a threat to its brand.
Mattel owns the rights to Scrabble in nearly 120 other countries, and Scrabulous is still available on Facebook in other countries.
Like Hasbro's Scrabble and Scrabulous, Wordscraper allows players to choose seven tiles at a time to create words on a board that offers double word and triple letter points.
The new game offers quadruple points, unlike the two older games. Wordscraper's tiles are round, not square like the older games. And, players can move the squares that give them extra points for words or letters -- a practice not allowed in the older games.
Scrabulous creators Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla and their company RJ Softwares took Scrabulous down after Hasbro said the game infringes on its copyright and trademark.
Hasbro had filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. It says Scrabulous uses "essential and original elements" of the famous board game and argues that the names "Scrabulous" and "Scrabble" are "confusingly similar." Finally, it states that the defendants said: "It's not really different." Hasbro said the statements amounts to a concession that they copied the board game.
Hasbro is seeking damages, legal costs, and the elimination of the online game.
An online version of the original Scrabble board game recently became available on Facebook.