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Scrabulous Not So Fabulous

January 16, 2008

The news was all over Twitterthis morning…it seems that Mattel/Hasbro has issued a take down order on the popular Facebook application Scrabulous due to what they call a trademark infringement. 

I must confess, I don’t play this game, but I know many (Emilie, Dani, etc) who are totally addicted to it.  Someone on Twitter pointed me to a great blog post by Matt Dickman where he questions this strategy and wonders why it came to this.  While I don’t totally agree with the idea of keeping the lawyers out of the room, as the lawyers I work with are most helpful on these kinds of matters, it does show the kind of open mind that I hope my marketers are thinking with.  We run into this kind of stuff with Dummies a lot, and it is a trademark that we actively protect, while still allowing for some forms of parody. 

The person in the comments who talks about the Dodgers shutting down a fan site is the kind of thing that makes me want to bang my head on my desk.  Hard.  You can’t buy that kind of loyalty and support, and to crush it is the worst kind of marketing gaffe.  If I saw a site like that for one of my products, I’d be emailing them trying to send them all sorts of free stuff.  Oh wait, I have seen those, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.  Because I want to build good will, not crush it.   Here’s hoping to someone at Mattel coming to his or her senses and saving the masses from having to switch back to Soliataire. 

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