Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Rubik’s® cube is an eponym and a patent, originally filed in 1975! Ernö Rubik,a Hungarian professor of Architecture, is the inventor whose name eponymizes the three-dimensional puzzle, also dubbed by CNN: the cube that changed the world! It turns out that Rubik’s name also saved the cube, as it was trademarked. This gave the inventor and manufacturer team plenty of time for prototyping, which took six years, and plenty of time for filing in various countries.
Rubik’s® cube is a puzzle all about space, and geometry. There is one solution for aligning all the colors on each of the four faces of the cube in 43 quintillion possible combinations that can be arrived at in as many ways!... This keeps the puzzle fascinating, explains why it was the fastest selling puzzle ever invented, why 40 years later there are 350 million copies sold, with speedcubing events (solving the puzzle against the clock) driving sales every year!
Here is what Rubik thinks of his cube:
And here is a glimpse, extracted from the patent Abstract, of the puzzle within the puzzle, that is, the inventor’s solution to connecting cubes that are still free to move and rotate, or to “releasably holding any one of the game pieces to any one of the at least four lateral faces” (yes, "releasably holding" ...!):