Apple lawsuit against Microsoft | Apple vs. Microsoft | Techday, March 17th
On this TECHDAY in history, on March 17th 1988, Apple Computer sued Microsoft for copyright infringement over the features of its operating system. After Apple created the Macintosh GUI in 1984, Microsoft released its Windows operating system, which had some similar characteristics.
Microsoft was able to acknowledge that the GUI from their OS was based off of the MacOS due to a confidential agreement they signed back in 1985. In return, Apple allowed Microsoft to use their GUI design in some of their software.
Apple filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for a series of copyright infringements in Windows 2. 0. The company also claimed that their graphical user interface contained 189 elements of the Macintosh GUI, covered by copyright. They filed the first lawsuit in 1988 and the judicial procedure lasted years. The four-year litigation resulted in additional claims for Windows 3.0 (3D 1435 of Court of Appeal). The court eventually decided Apple only had limited rights to the GUI as 179 elements were included in the 1985 agreement with Microsoft and the remaining 10 weren’t covered by copyright.
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