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Who invented the Rubik's Cube?

Learn about patent disputes over the popular Rubik's Cube.

The Rubik's Cube was originally called the
©Jupiter Images, 2009
The Rubik's Cube was originally called the "Magic Cube."

In 1979, a Hungarian chess fanatic and professor at the University of Budapest, Erno Rubik (b. 1944), invented a cube puzzle brain-teaser. This game of logic first interested colleagues and mathematicians, but shortly afterwards, in 1980, Ideal Toys marketed the puzzle.

Controversial Court Settlement

In May 1982 a patent infringement suit was filed by Arthur S. Obermayer, who claimed his company, Moleculon, held a 1972 United States patent based on the work of its chief research scientist, Larry D. Nichols, for the identical puzzle. In 1984 the court ruled in favor of Moleculon.

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