The Tetris Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Tetris Company, Inc.
Company typePrivate
IndustryVideo games
United States
Area served
ServicesLicensor of the Tetris brand
OwnerTetris Holding, LLC[1]

The Tetris Company, Inc. (TTC) is the manager and licensor for the Tetris brand to third parties.[2] It is based in Nevada and is owned by Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov and Henk Rogers.[3] The company is the exclusive licensee of Tetris Holding LLC, the company that owns Tetris rights worldwide.[4]


Tetris was created in 1985[5] by Pajitnov. As the initial versions of the game spread through the Eastern Bloc, interest in licensing it for western commercial release drew much attention. Elektronorgtechnica (Elorg) was the Soviet agency created to control the import and export of hardware and software outside the Soviet Union. As part of the licensing of the game, Pajitnov agreed to let Elorg handle all licensing for a 10-year period. One of the main licensees of the game was Bullet-Proof Software, owned by Henk Rogers, with whom Pajitnov struck up a friendship. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, Elorg was privatized.

The Tetris Company was established in 1996 by Pajitnov and Rogers to manage the worldwide licensing of the property. The visual expression in official Tetris games is covered by copyrights that are owned by Tetris Holding, LLC, the company into which Pajitnov placed his Tetris rights.[6] 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[7]) to video game development companies and maintains a set of guidelines that each licensed game must meet.[2] Initially, Elorg was a partner in the Tetris Company until Rogers and Pajitnov bought Elorg's remaining rights around 2005.[8][9]

The Tetris Company has also issued licenses to third parties for the production of other products, such as greeting cards and lottery tickets.[6][10]

Legal enforcement[edit]

TTC drew attention in the late 1990s when it attempted to remove freeware and shareware clones of Tetris from the market by sending out cease-and-desist letters claiming both trademark and copyright infringement.[11] 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.[12]

In August 2008, Apple Inc. removed Tris, a clone of Tetris from its online App Store.[13] In March 2009, the Tetris Company sued BioSocia, operator of the Omgpop gaming portal[14][15] 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.[16] Google responded by removing the 35 games listed in the notice even though, according to one developer, the games contained no references to Tetris.[17][18][19]

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".[20][21]

In the case Tetris Holding, LLC v. Xio Interactive, Inc., 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.[22]

In October 2020, the previous licensing company for the Tetris brand, Blue Planet Software Inc., founded by Henk Rogers in 1996, was merged with The Tetris Company, effectively rendering BPS defunct.[1]

In April 2021, a YouTuber called JDH made an operating system that only runs Tetris.[23] Two months later, his GitHub repository was taken offline by the Tetris Company because of copyright infringement.[24][non-primary source needed]

In July 2022, the Tetris Company took down Playtris, a Playdate remake of Tetris created by developer ThaCuber, due to copyright infringement.[25] The GitHub repository is still available under the new name, BlockDate.[26]


  1. ^ a b "Call Us Tetris". The Tetris Company. 2020-10-21. Retrieved 2023-08-26.
  2. ^ a b Metts, Jonathan (2006-04-06). "Tetris from the Top: An Interview with Henk Rogers". Nintendo World Report. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  3. ^ "Tetris: a history". Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "Tetris | video game | Britannica". Retrieved 2023-04-19.
  6. ^ a b TETRIS HOLDING, LLC ET AL V. XIO INTERACTIVE, 09-6115, 2 (D.N.J. 2012-05-30).
  7. ^ Ball, Eric; Ip, Alexander (2016-08-07). "How Trade Dress Can Help Game Developers Level Up". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  8. ^ Hartley, Matt (2009-06-06). "Rock around the blocks". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2011-02-17.
  9. ^ Remo, Chris (2009-09-10). "The Man Who Won Tetris". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  10. ^ "Pollard Banknote Exclusive License, Tetris, A Perfect Fit For The Texas Lottery". Winnipeg, Manitoba: Pollard Banknote Limited. 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  11. ^ Andrew James Bednarz, December 24, 1997 The Tetris Company Story Archived 2012-07-08 at
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ iPhone Tetris Clone 'Tris' Pulled From App Store on Kotaku
  14. ^ 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
  15. ^ Information about Tetris vs. Biosocia Inc. Archived 2009-11-20 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on December 28, 2009.
  16. ^ DMCA Notice sent to Google Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  17. ^ "Google pulls Tetris from Android - Tetris, blocked TechEye". Archived from the original on 2016-01-12. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Tetris Clones Yanked Off Market". DroidGamers. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "Tetris clone Tetrada removed from Windows Phone 7 Marketplace after takedown request | Tetris news | Pocket Gamer". Retrieved 2011-02-09.
  22. ^ Brown, Mark (2012-06-20). "US judge declares Tetris clone 'infringing'". Wired UK. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  23. ^ "Tetris-OS Is an 'OS' That Only Plays Tetris". Gizmodo. 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2023-06-18.
  24. ^ JDH. "Tetris OS Github Repository". GitHub. Retrieved 2021-06-22.
  25. ^ "Takedown notice for Playtris". Retrieved 2023-08-01.
  26. ^ ThaCuber (2023-07-24), BlockDate, retrieved 2023-08-01

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