Wendy Seltzer, visiting assistant professor at the Northeastern University School of Law, has an excellent blog post about the lack of merit behind Mattel/Hasbro's legal position in their fight against Scrabulous. She breaks down the three possible legal arguments that Mattel/Hasbro might have and summarily dismisses each argument. It's a quick and enjoyable read, i highly recommend it.
If you don't enjoy the finer points of copyright law, here's her summation, and I don't need to tell you kids why it's relevant:
The Internet provides a host of new opportunities to reimplement classic games, without the barriers of physical distribution. As entrepreneurs rush to capitalize on the opportunies, they shouldn’t be scared off by vague legal threats. Hasbro and Mattel may have their trademark, but we all have the right to cross words.So, great, the door is wide open for more board game clones, how exciting.