informa
/
2 MIN READ
News

Judge rules in favor of Tetris Company in cloning dispute

In a move that has big implications for video game clone claims, a judge has ruled in favor of the Tetris Company against Mino developer Xio Interactive, stating that Mino is substantially similar to Tetris.
In a move that has big implications for video game clone claims, a judge has ruled in favor of the Tetris Company against Mino developer Xio Interactive, stating that Mino is substantially similar to Tetris. Mino was released for iPhone in 2009, and described by the developer as a multiplayer version of Tetris. The Tetris Company filed a lawsuit against Xio later that year, alleging that Mino infringed on its copyrights. Xio argued that Mino only copied non-protected elements from Tetris, including the rules and functionality of the game, rather than its expressive elements. However, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey has now ruled that there is a "substantial similarity" between Tetris and Mino, and that Xio has infringed on Tetris Company's copyright. It also stated that Mino constituted unfair competition for Tetris and false endorsement. The filing explains, "Neither party disputes that a game is deserving of some copyright protection," before adding, "The game mechanics and the rules are not entitled to protection, but courts have found expressive elements copyrightable, including game labels, design of game boards, playing cards and graphical works." It continues, "Xio is correct that one cannot protect some functional aspect of a work by copyright as one would with a patent. But this principle does not mean, and cannot mean, that any and all expression related to a game rule or game function is unprotectible. Such an exception to copyright would likely swallow any protection one could possibly have; almost all expressive elements of a game are related in some way to the rules and functions of game play." "Tetris Holding is as entitled to copyright protection for the way in which it chooses to express game rules or game play as one would be to the way in which one chooses to express an idea." The ruling may have implications for other alleged clone lawsuits, including the ongoing Spry Fox versus 6Waves Lolapps filing.

Latest Jobs

Cryptic Studios

Remote
1.19.23
Senior Producer

Night School Studio

Los Angeles, CA, USA
1.09.23
Level Designer / Scripter, Games Studio

Fast Travel Games

Hybrid (Stockholm, Sweden)
1.09.23
Social Media / Community Manager
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Browse
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more