Hasbro may have to live with Ghettopoly
Trademark lawyers predict that the maker of Monopoly will have a hard time eradicating a parody that it deems offensive.
BY SUSAN DECKER
Hasbro, maker of the world's best-selling board game, Monopoly, may not be able to stop the sale of Ghettopoly, a takeoff on the game that allows players to buy stolen property and build crack houses, trademark lawyers said Thursday.
Hasbro filed suit Tuesday, claiming copyright and trademark infringement, harm to its good name and unfair competition, after Ghettopoly creator David Chang refused to stop selling the game.
Hundreds of games trade off the popularity of Monopoly, which was introduced by Parker Brothers in 1935 and was based on the streets of Atlantic City. Hasbro has been unable to halt those games and may suffer the same fortune with Ghettopoly, according to trademark lawyers.
''From a trademark perspective, they have to show a likelihood of confusion, and I don't think people will think Hasbro is selling this,'' said Robert Brandenburg of the Southfield, Mich., law firm of Brooks Kushman. 'That's their main problem, and you couple that with the fact that everyone and their brother has an `opoly' game.''
There are 88 trademark registrations or applications that use ''opoly,'' including several registered to Hasbro for variations of the Monopoly name.
They have chosen to let the ball drop [on our foot]: