Monday, September 08, 2008

Mattel blocks 'Scrabulous' in India [Intellectual Property]

The networking site, Facebook, has restricted the popular “add-on” application, ‘Scrabulous’ to most users. Mattel Inc. owns Scrabble rights outside Canada and the United States of America and had approached the Indian courts in February 2008, seeking an order for taking down Scrabulous from Facebook and other servers.

The brothers, Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, and their web-design and technology company, R J Software, were previously served a lawsuit by game-making giant Hasbro Inc., owner of Scrabble rights in Canada and the U.S. , at a New York federal court for violating its copyright and trademarks. Hasbro also sent a notice demanding that Facebook remove the application from the site. “Facebook took the unfortunate decision to restrict most users from accessing Scrabulous on August 22, in response to a ‘take down notice’ from Mattel on August 14,” said Mr. Jayant.

Mr. Jayant said, “The High Court had reserved judgement in this matter after hearing both parties. It surprises us that Mattel chose to direct Facebook to take down Scrabulous without waiting for the High Court’s decision.” He also sounded disappointed with Facebook as he said, “It is even more astonishing that Facebook, which claims to be fair and neutral party, took the step even though they were fully aware of the circumstances under which the Mattel letter was sent.”

“We now await the decision of the High Court and shall accordingly decide our future course of action regarding Scrabulous,” Mr. Jayant asserted.

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