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Legal issues making Scrabble type board?

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Forum topic by DanielP posted 06-28-2016 03:01 PM 362 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DanielP

489 posts in 1354 days


06-28-2016 03:01 PM

What are the issues one might face in making a word game board such as, or similiar to, Scrabble?

-- --- Dan


6 replies so far

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nkawtg

204 posts in 713 days


#1 posted 06-28-2016 03:14 PM

For personal consumption, none.
Selling it, and possibly giving it away will give you trouble.

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nkawtg

204 posts in 713 days


#2 posted 06-28-2016 03:14 PM

Sorry, duplicate.`

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Monte Pittman

21998 posts in 1800 days


#3 posted 06-28-2016 03:16 PM

I agree. Unless you are going to mass produce, shouldn’t be a problem.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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GR8HUNTER

1134 posts in 174 days


#4 posted 06-28-2016 03:17 PM

none if you call it scribble LMAO…........and play it with your family only

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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jdh122

879 posts in 2280 days


#5 posted 06-28-2016 04:00 PM

Disclaimer first: I’m not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.

That said, it seems that while there is a copyright on the name of the game and the actual literal words of the rules, there is no patent on the gameboard or the concepts of the rules (patents last way less time than copyrights). This suggests that calling it something different might be enough to be able to start selling them. On the other hand, a lawsuit from a large toy company could pretty much ruin your life.

From a Reddit on the subject:
Scrabble can’t actually copyright the game. There is a copyright on the art, and any ” substantial literary expression in the form” of the directions however the actual method of playing is not copyright protected. All that is required is to explain the directions of playing in different language than Hasbro did in theirs. From the U.S. Copyright office: “Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.” (https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/16enap/eli5_why_words_with_friends_is_not_being_sued_by/)

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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DanielP

489 posts in 1354 days


#6 posted 06-28-2016 04:57 PM



Disclaimer first: I m not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.

That said, it seems that while there is a copyright on the name of the game and the actual literal words of the rules, there is no patent on the gameboard or the concepts of the rules (patents last way less time than copyrights). This suggests that calling it something different might be enough to be able to start selling them. On the other hand, a lawsuit from a large toy company could pretty much ruin your life.

From a Reddit on the subject:
Scrabble can t actually copyright the game. There is a copyright on the art, and any ” substantial literary expression in the form” of the directions however the actual method of playing is not copyright protected. All that is required is to explain the directions of playing in different language than Hasbro did in theirs. From the U.S. Copyright office: “Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.” (https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/16enap/eli5_why_words_with_friends_is_not_being_sued_by/)

- jdh122

That might explain why “Words For Friends” exists.

-- --- Dan

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