Bloody battles in the courtroom: an Apple history Pt II

Apple's courtroom history throughout the 90s


Moving on to smaller fish, Apple accuses Microsoft and Intel of using stolen QuickTime technology -- but targets its suit at a tiny San Francisco development firm. The suit claims San Francisco Canyon handed over stolen property.

Intel and Microsoft are later added to the suit, and finally Microsoft removes the disputed code from Video for Windows.


Apple bullying Microsoft? According to Microsoft representatives in the software maker's antitrust trial (speaking in 1998), Apple in 1997 threatens Microsoft with a $1.2bn patent-infringement lawsuit unless its demands are met. Apple, on the other hand, denies any threat, claiming the company would have been happy to accept a cash settlement.

Later in 1997, the companies sign an agreement settling the patent dispute, calling for continued development of Microsoft Office for the Macintosh, and setting Internet Explorer as the default Web browser for Mac. Microsoft also invests $150m in Apple -- to the shock and horror of hardcore Apple fans.


Imatec and Hanoch Shalit accuse Apple of infringing their patents with Apple's ColorSync software, used for colour correction in graphic design. The suit is dismissed in 2000 after a judge decides Imatec and Shalit don't even own the patents the suit is based on -- and that ColorSync doesn't infringe those patents anyway.


Apple begins the first of a series of lawsuits designed to stamp out imitators of the popular iMac. The first suit is aimed at Future Power and its backer, South Korea's Daewoo, over the Windows-based E-Power PC.

Other targets come to include Japan's Sotec, with its e-one PC, and eMachines, a maker of low-cost PCs.

Apple later wins a limited victory over eMachines and Future Power.

Microware Systems sues Apple, claiming that Macintosh's OS 9 brand will cause confusion with Microware's OS-9, an embedded operating system for set-top boxes, consumer electronics and factory automation systems. In 2000, a judge tosses out Microware's case, deciding Apple employed "fair use".


Cobalt accuses Apple of ripping off the Cobalt Qube for the Power Macintosh Cube.

In August, Apple forges once again into the thick of legal battle with a claim against an unnamed individual or individuals for stealing trade secrets. According to the suit, the sneak posted images of a new mouse and Mac G4 several months before they were announced.

Go back to Pt I/ Bloody battles in the courtroom

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