Scrabulous creators launch new version of game

LONDON - The creators of Scrabulous, the unofficial online version of Scrabble, have released a new version of the game called Wordscraper, in an attempt to fight off Hasbro's copyright lawsuit.

Wordscraper features various design changes from Scrabulous, such as circles instead of Scrabble-like square tiles and a different point system.

Its creators, Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla of India, are hoping the name and design changes could help it avoid any brand confusion with Scrabble.

Hasbro, which owns the rights to Scrabble in the US and Canada, sued the Agarwalla brothers over Scrabulous last week, claiming trademark and copyright infringement.

The brothers were forced to block Scrabulous from US and Canadian users of Facebook until further notice. Scrabulous was one of the most popular applications on Facebook with over 500,000 daily players.

Hasbro has launched its own official Facebook version of Scrabble, which is still in beta phase, but this hasn't been as popular.

Toy maker Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside the US and Canada, also filed a suit against Scrabulous several months ago and is awaiting a decision on its complaint by an Indian court.

In the mean time, Scrabulous players outside the US and Canada can still access the game on Facebook, as well as the new Wordscraper version.