Early this week, CachedTech received leaked documents that indicated a copyright lawsuit filed by popular toy and board game maker, Hasbro, may have been the real reason Google discontinued its failed microblogging service—Google Buzz.
It’s commonly believed Google shut down the unpopular service this December due to privacy concerns raised during its botched launch in February of 2011. The only buzz Google was ever able to generate from its “Twitter clone” was the sound of early adopters whooshing past your ears as they jumped ship.
However, a 22-page lawsuit filed by Hasbro has surfaced that suggests there may be “more than meets the eye” to the early demise of Buzz. Wedged somewhere between “Choosing who goes first” and “How to win”, Hasbro alleges that Google heavily based their Google Buzz logo on pieces from the popular Trivial Pursuit game.
In addition to blatant trademark infringement, the lawsuit claims Hasbro was seeking damages for what they referred to as “negative brand association”. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior spokesperson for Hasbro said, “Buzz was devaluing [their] brand. It’s sort of like what Snookie–cast member of MTV’s The Jersey Shore–was doing by walking around with Coach handbags.”
Although the case never came before a judge, some industry experts suspect Google settled out of court by allowing Hasbro to develop a Special “Googleplex” Edition of Monopoly based on Google’s sprawling headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The game is rumored to be due out in Q3 2012.
Asked why Google settled out of court and opted not to pursue any countersuits, Google patent counsel William Luis McLawbergshando IV said, “What’s the point? They have like a million ‘GET OUT OF JAIL FREE’ cards at their disposal.”
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