Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that there’s a hot new device out there, one with more than a little potential as a gaming platform. Then let’s say that a nimble bedroom coder is one of the first out of the gate with content for the device, and makes a very nice clone of a very famous puzzle game. And then let’s say that the publishers of said very famous puzzle game notice that the clone, being so quick to appear and so faithful an adaptation (right down to the progress/bonus bar, which is what sets the original apart from most derivatives), has become quite popular among early adopters of the device.

What do you think happens next in this scenario? Cease-and-desist letters? Grumblings in the press? Hand-wringing about the impact of knockoffs on the casual games industry? Pistols at dawn? If you’re PopCap and Arkadiusz Mlynarczyk — makers, respectively of Bejeweled and its iPhone-optimized clone Diamenty — the answer is “none of the above.” Instead, PopCap collaborated with Mlynarczyk to make a properly branded version of the game, and used it to launch their own presence on the iPhone.

So, let’s see here: Mlynarczyk gets paid, PopCap maintains its identity, and I get to play Bejweled wherever AT&T’s dodgy coverage allows. Everybody wins! I love it when people realize that business isn’t a zero-sum game.