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Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.

35 F.3d 1435 (1994)

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Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

35 F.3d 1435 (1994)

Facts

Apple Computer, Inc. (plaintiff), creator of the Macintosh computer, licensed certain components of its Macintosh operating system to Microsoft Corp. (defendant), creator of the Windows operating system, for its development of Windows 1.0. In the 2.03 and 3.0 version of Windows, Microsoft included many more elements of the Macintosh operating system. Apple filed suit for infringement because the license agreement was solely for the development of Windows 1.0. In its defense, Microsoft challenged the copyrightability of the individual elements of the Macintosh operating system. Apple in turn argued that the individual elements were all protected by its claim of copyright in Macintosh’s overall desktop graphical interface. The district court concluded that any infringement of Apple’s operating system as a whole would require virtual identity. The district court then granted Microsoft’s motion for summary judgment under the virtual-identity standard. Apple appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rymer, J.)

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