The Tetris Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Tetris Company, Inc.
IndustryInteractive entertainment
United States
Area served
ServicesLicensor of the Tetris brand
OwnerTetris Holding, LLC (50%)
Blue Planet Software (50%)

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


Tetris, created in 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov, is one of the most popular games ever, reflected by its mobile edition being the top seller in the industry 2006.[4] The Tetris Company licenses the Tetris trademark (which includes Tetris trade dress elements, such as the distinct brightly colored blocks and the vertically rectangular play field[5]) to video game development companies and maintains a set of guidelines that each licensed game must meet (for instance, the button controls for game functions must be consistent.)[3] The visual expression in a number of official Tetris games is covered by copyrights that are owned by Tetris Holding, LLC, a company that was founded by Pajitnov and Henk Rogers.[6] The Tetris Company has issued licenses to third parties for the production of Tetris-based games and other products, such as greeting cards and lottery tickets.[6][7]


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.[8][9] 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.[9]

Legal enforcement[edit]

TTC drew attention in the late 1990s 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,[10] having copyrighted and trademarked every aspect of Tetris, such as the playfield dimensions, the next piece, and the shapes of the blocks.[citation needed] 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.[11]

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.[12] In March 2009, the Tetris Company sued BioSocia, operator of the Omgpop gaming portal[13][14] 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.[15] Google responded by removing the 35 games listed in the notice even though, according to one developer, the games contained no references to Tetris.[16][17][18]

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".[19][20]

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.[21]

In April 2021, a YouTuber called JDH made an operating system that only runs Tetris. Two months later, his GitHub repository was taken offline by the Tetris Company because of copyright infringement.[22][23][non-primary source needed]


  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 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". Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  5. ^ Ball, Eric; Ip, Alexander (2016-08-07). "How Trade Dress Can Help Game Developers Level Up". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  6. ^ a b TETRIS HOLDING, LLC ET AL V. XIO INTERACTIVE, 09-6115, 2 (D.N.J. 2012-05-30).
  7. ^ "Pollard Banknote Exclusive License, Tetris, A Perfect Fit For The Texas Lottery". Winnipeg, Manitoba: Pollard Banknote Limited. 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  8. ^ Hartley, Matt (2009-06-06). "Rock around the blocks - The Globe and Mail". Toronto. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  9. ^ a b Remo, Chris (2009-09-10). "The Man Who Won Tetris". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  10. ^ Andrew James Bednarz, December 24, 1997 The Tetris Company Story Archived 2012-07-08 at
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ iPhone Tetris Clone 'Tris' Pulled From App Store on Kotaku
  13. ^ Ross Dannenberg. Patent Arcade: New Case: Tetris Co. v. BioSocia, Inc. (S.D.N.Y) [Copyright] Retrieved on September 5, 2009. Archived April 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Information about Tetris vs. Biosocia Inc. Archived 2009-11-20 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on December 28, 2009.
  15. ^ DMCA Notice sent to Google Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  16. ^ "Google pulls Tetris from Android - Tetris, blocked TechEye". Archived from the original on 2016-01-12. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
  17. ^ Lendino, Jamie (2010-05-28). "Google's Android Market Purges Tetris Clones". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
  18. ^ "Tetris Clones Yanked Off Market". DroidGamers. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
  19. ^ "The Tetris Company forces Tetrada out of WP7 Marketplace - News - Know Your Mobile". Archived from the original on 2017-08-05. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
  20. ^ "Tetris clone Tetrada removed from Windows Phone 7 Marketplace after takedown request | Tetris news | Pocket Gamer". Retrieved 2011-02-09.
  21. ^ Brown, Mark (2012-06-20). "US judge declares Tetris clone 'infringing'". Wired UK. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  22. ^ JDH (2021-04-18). "I made an entire OS that only runs Tetris". JDH. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2021-06-22 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ JDH. "Tetris OS Github Repository". Retrieved 2021-06-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]