Hasbro countersues over rights to The Game of Life

Hasbro has denied the claims made by the widow of a toy inventor who says her husband created the hit board game The Game of Life.

Last year, Lorraine Markham sued the global toy maker, claiming that her husband Bill had invented the game in 1959 and that she was owed $2million or more in royalties.

She said that her husband had struck a deal with another toy inventor, but Hasbro had taken credit for the concept, denying him his legacy.

However, in its first response to the lawsuit, Hasbro denied that Markham created or designed the game and said that his widow has no ownership interest in it. The firm went on to say n court papers that it owns copyrights and other intellectual property rights to the game and its packaging, not Markham.

Hasbro has now countersued, asking a federal judge to declare that it owns the rights to the game that has sold more than 30 million copies, and asking for attorney’s fees.

Meanwhile, the other toy inventor Reuben Klamer has said that he is the sole creator of the game and hired Markham to make the game board.

According to Klamer, Markham only made a prototype to which he then made significant revisions before delivering it Milton Bradley, the firm that has since been absorbed by Hasbro.

Markham’s lawyer, Lou Solomon, said that for years Hasbro had acknowledged that her husband created the game.

“It’s sad that a big company can try to outspend an inventor of such a valuable game,” said Solomon.

The Game of Life was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2010.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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