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April 15, 1992

TRASH! JUDGE CANS MOST OF APPLE SUIT AGAINST MICROSOFT, HEWLETT…

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple Computer Inc has been left with little more than a garbage can in its protracted suit against Microsoft Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co alleging that Windows infringes its copyright in the Macintosh user interface. In a surprise ruling late Tuesday, Judge Vaughn Walker threw out almost all the elements of the case, including specific icons and general appearance, and told Apple’s lawyers that their claim on grounds of general overall appearance represented a fundamental misunderstanding of the law. Apple is still expected to proceed with the tattered case on the few elements that were not thrown out, including the idea of using a picture of a dustbin to signify deletion of a file and the way Windows handles type fonts. Hewlett-Packard’s lawyers reckon that the company can now seek summary judgement on the entire proceeding next month.

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