In 2003, after I unveiled a prototype Linux desktop called Project Looking Glass*, Steve called my office to let me know the graphical effects were stepping all over Apples IP. (IP = Intellectual Property = patents, trademarks and copyrights.) If we moved forward to commercialize it, Ill just sue you.
My response was simple. Steve, I was just watching your last presentation, and Keynote looks identical to Concurrence do you own that IP? Concurrence was a presentation product built by Lighthouse Design, a company Id help to found and which Sun acquired in 1996. Lighthouse built applications for NeXTSTEP, the Unix based operating system whose core would become the foundation for all Mac products after Apple acquired NeXT in 1996. Steve had used Concurrence for years, and as Apple built their own presentation tool, it was obvious where theyd found inspiration. And last I checked, MacOS is now built on Unix. I think Sun has a few OS patents, too. Steve was silent.
Schwartz goes on to talk about similar situations with other companies such as Microsoft, touches on Apple's current patent lawsuits with Nokia and offers some interesting insight. Definitely a recommended read.
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