Re: Infringement of SCRABBLE® Crossword Game Copyrights and Trademarks
Dear (Rackaroo owners):
We are counsel for Hasbro, Inc. (“Hasbro”), the owner of the copyrights and trademarks in the United States and Canada for the SCRABBLE® crossword game. Hasbro also owns the copyrights in all editions of the Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary (“OSPD”), including the 4th edition (“OSPD4”). We recently became aware that you are making available on your website at www.rackaroo.com a game that you call “Free Online Scrabble.” In addition, you offer for sale on the iTunes Store a game called “Wordaroo,” with a free version called “Wordaroo Lite.” Both Rackaroo and Wordaroo include the OSPD4.
Rackaroo is nothing more than an illegal and unauthorized copy of the SCRABBLE® game and the OSPD4. While Wordaroo and Wordaroo Lite differ from Hasbro’s SCRABBLE® game, Wordaroo also incorporates an unauthorized copy of the OSPD4, and copies several key elements of the game including the look of the letter tiles, the point values assigned to each letter, and the use of seven tiles for each turn.
The SCRABBLE® game board, the rules of the game, and the OSPD are the copyrighted property of Hasbro. The SCRABBLE® game board and letter tiles also have source-identifying significance as trademarks.
Your unauthorized use of the SCRABBLE® game board, rules and OSPD constitutes copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501. Your unauthorized use of the SCRABBLE® name, game board and letter tiles violates the trademark laws, including 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114(1) and 1125(a), by creating a likelihood of confusion with respect to Hasbro’s authorization or sponsorship of or association with your commercial activities and is also likely to dilute the distinctive qualities of the SCRABBLE® marks in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1125(c) and the anti-dilution laws of numerous states.
On behalf of Hasbro, we therefore demand that you immediately cease use of the SCRABBLE® trademarks and copyrighted material, remove the Rackaroo game from your website, and, for the Wordaroo applications (a) change the look and the specific letter-number combinations of the letter tiles, (b) change the number of tiles used in one turn from seven to some other number, and (c) remove the OSPD4 from the application.
Please confirm to me within ten days your agreement to the above. This letter does not purport to be a complete statement of the facts or the law and is without prejudice to Hasbro’s legal and equitable rights.
Carin G. Reynolds
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-6710