Mattel, Hasbro Disagree Over Proper Nouns

Mattel's new edition of scrabble called Scrabble Trickster is including new rules that would allow the use of proper nouns. Mattel owns the rights to Scrabble outside North America. In the U.S., Hasbro owns the rights and it says it is not changing any rules.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And our last word in business today is, let's see - C-L-A-R-I-F-Y.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

That spells clarify. Yesterday, we told you on this program that the makers of Scrabble were putting out new rules for a new edition of the game, rules that would allow the use of proper nouns. You know, like proper names. If you just had a bunch of E's, you could try to spell Renee, for example.

MONTAGNE: Renee.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MONTAGNE: Well, just to be clear, there is a new edition of the game. It's called Scrabble Trickster, and it's made by Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside North America. Mattel officials told the BBC they hope the easier rules would attract younger players.

INSKEEP: In this country, toy maker Hasbro owns the rights to Scrabble, and according to Scrabble expert Stefan Fatsis, its not changing anything. You may know Stefan for his work covering the business of sports on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, and he's also the author of "Word Freak," a book about the business of competitive Scrabble.

So, S-O-R-R-Y for any confusion.

Its MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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