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Apple pulls free Tetris clone from iTunes

updated 12:55 am EDT, Tue August 26, 2008

Apple pulls Tetris clone

Apple's legal machine has turned its sights on an independent developer, a college student responsible for an iPhone Tetris clone called Tris, who is conceding to the company's removal of the game from the App Store. Developer Noah Witherspoon says that Apple contacted him on behalf of The Tetris Company, who complained of trademark and copyright violations. While Witherspoon believes he could overcome the issue in the court system, but as a student, he lacks the proper resources to do so.

Witherspoon feels that The Tetris Company is within their rights to protect their intellectual property, "the approach they're taking seems to me little more than petty bullying." He estimates that the only reason they have a leg to stand on is because of Witherspoon's student status.

"To clarify: if Apple had not told me they'd "take action" of their own if I didn't resolve the "dispute", Tris would be staying up," Witherspoon summarizes. "I don't think this will be permanent; when I have the time and can find a good copyright lawyer, I'll be figuring out exactly what my position is and how I can make Tris available again."

Witherspoon will be pulling Tris from the App Store on Wednesday.

The situation resembles a recent dispute over another application, NetShare, which was pulled due to conflicts with some wireless providers. The app allowed users to tether their iPhone to a computer for mobile internet service, which prompted complaints from carriers such as AT&T, who charge as much as $30 per month for a similar service.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    two things.

    First, it is NOT SIMILAR to the reason why NetShare was pulled. This product was pulled due to a fairly bogus copyright infringement claim from Tetris. NetShare was pulled presumably because it would allow US customers to violate their contract's TOS. The only things in common is that both things were removed by Apple from the iTMS.

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So what?

    Instead of clonemaking and hiring a lawyer I would advice mr. Witherspoon to write an original game of his own and move on. Believe me, it will take less efforts.

  1. alpich

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Tris lives

    After reading this article on my iPhone I clicked on the Tris link it had. And to my surprise it went to App store on my iPhone and gave me the option to install. I did and I like it. Good little app. I then went to my iTunes App store and it was there also. It might have something to do with it being in Australia. Hope it helps some.

  1. thewebdrives


    Joined: Dec 1969


    go original

    right said.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    App lives...

    Until Wednesday. The developer agreed to have Tris pulled on Wednesday, which is (for the US, as well as for most parts of the world, at this writing) still tomorrow.

  1. alpich

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Think the title says it all. Sorry for not reading fully

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They are all clones

    All versions of Tetris are clones, and the patent ran out long ago. The name is the only thing that is copyrighted, and is not being used here.

  1. Grrr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ok, I fell for it..

    I thought "Oh no! my last chance to have Tetric on my iPhone is upon me!" and promptly downloaded it.
    Only to find it isn't actually very good anyway. What on earth is all the fuss about?

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Ok,..

    Well, they couldn't find you to get your okay on the software, the removal of the software, and the story about it,

    I'm sure it won't happen again. The poster above, that liked the game, will surely change their mind now that they know how you feel about it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: OK

    Actually, one of the problems with the appstore is there is no 'try before you buy' option. I'm glad so many people have the money to fork over $5 here and there for stuff that may or may not be good, but shouldn't you have the ability to give it a shot before buying?

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