The Tetris Company

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The Tetris Company, LLC
Type Limited liability company
Industry Interactive entertainment
Founder(s)
Headquarters Honolulu, Hawaii, US
Area served Worldwide
Services Licensor of the Tetris brand
Owner(s) Tetris Holding, LLC (50%)
Blue Planet Software (50%)
Website www.tetris.com

The Tetris Company, LLC (TTC) is based in Hawaii and is owned by Henk Rogers and Alexey Pajitnov.[1] The company is the exclusive licensee of Tetris Holding LLC, the company that owns Tetris rights worldwide[2] and the Tetris Company licenses the Tetris brand to third parties.[3]

Business[edit]

Tetris, originally conceived by Alexey Pajitnov, is widely considered one of the most popular games ever released, which was reflected by its mobile edition being the top seller in the industry in 2006.[4] The Tetris Company company licenses the Tetris trademark (including trade dress aspects) to video game development companies and maintains a set of guidelines that each licensed game must meet.[3] For example, the button controls for game functions must be consistent.[3]

ELORG[edit]

Elektronorgtechnica (ELORG) was the Soviet agency, and later, privatized Russian company initially created to license state owned software and hardware to private industry. Initially, ELORG was a partner in The Tetris Company, and at one point was a 50 percent owner until Rogers and Pajitnov bought ELORG's remaining rights around 2005.[5][6] Tetris Holding, a newly created company into which Pajitnov placed his Tetris rights and Rogers' Blue Planet Software company each own 50 percent of The Tetris Company who is now the issuer for all Tetris licenses.[6]

Legal enforcement[edit]

TTC drew attention in the late 90s when it attempted to remove freeware and shareware versions of Tetris from the market by sending out cease-and-desist letters claiming both trademark and copyright infringement.[7] Creators of Tetris clones claimed that the company had no valid legal basis to restrict tetromino games that did not infringe on the Tetris name trademark, since copyright "look-and-feel" suits have not stood up in court in the past (Lotus v. Borland), and because the letters made no patent claims.[8]

In August 2008, Apple Inc. removed Tris, a version of Tetris from its online App Store. The software author had written a tetromino game for the iPhone iOS without authorization from The Tetris Company.[9] In March 2009, The Tetris Company sued BioSocia, operator of the Omgpop gaming portal.[10][dead link][11] because one of its multiplayer games, Blockles, was too similar to Tetris. By September 2009, Omgpop removed the game from the website and replaced it with an alternate that the developers created, based on Puyo Puyo.

In May 2010, lawyers representing The Tetris Company sent Google a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Violation Notice regarding Tetris clones available for Android.[12] Google responded by removing the 35 games listed in the notice as it was legally obliged to do, even though, according to one developer, the game contained no references to Tetris.[13][14][15]

In February 2011, The Tetris Company continued to make copyright claims against independently developed Tetris clones, most notably against Tetrada on the Windows Phone 7 marketplace. The developer, Mario Karagiannis, rejected the claims of copyright infringement on the grounds that copyright does not cover gameplay design, but still removed the game, citing lack of resources to fight what he called "bullying".[16][17]

A US District Court judge ruled in June 2012 that the Tetris clone Mino from Xio Interactive infringed on the Tetris Company's copyrights by replicating elements such as the playfield dimensions and the shapes of the blocks.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tetris: a history". Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Hasbro and The Tetris Company Announce New Face-to-Face Games Based on World-Famous TETRIS® Video Game". BusinessWire. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  3. ^ a b c Metts, Jonathan (2006-04-06). "Tetris from the Top: An Interview with Henk Rogers". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  4. ^ Gibson, Ellie (2006-08-30). "Tetris tops the mobile charts once again". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  5. ^ Hartley, Matt (2009-06-06). "Rock around the blocks - The Globe and Mail". Toronto. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  6. ^ a b Remo, Chris (2009-09-10). "The Man Who Won Tetris". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  7. ^ Andrew James Bednarz, December 24, 1997 The Tetris Company Story
  8. ^ Bjorn Stenberg A trademark cease-and-desist for Rockbox's Tetrox: Tetrox renamed to Rockblox, for trademark reasons. September 19, 2006. Retrieved on September 5, 2009.
  9. ^ iPhone Tetris Clone 'Tris' Pulled From App Store on Kotaku
  10. ^ Ross Dannenberg. Patent Arcade: New Case: Tetris Co. v. BioSocia, Inc. (S.D.N.Y) [Copyright] Retrieved on September 5, 2009.
  11. ^ Information about Tetris vs. Biosocia Inc. Retrieved on December 28, 2009.
  12. ^ DMCA Notice sent to Google Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  13. ^ "Google pulls Tetris from Android - Tetris, blocked TechEye". Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  14. ^ Lendino, Jamie (2010-05-28). "Google's Android Market Purges Tetris Clones". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  15. ^ "Tetris Clones Yanked Off Market". DroidGamers. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  16. ^ "The Tetris Company forces Tetrada out of WP7 Marketplace - News - Know Your Mobile". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  17. ^ "Tetris clone Tetrada removed from Windows Phone 7 Marketplace after takedown request | Tetris news | Pocket Gamer". Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  18. ^ Brown, Mark (2012-06-20). "US judge declares Tetris clone 'infringing'". Wired UK. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 

External links[edit]