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Apple vs. Microsoft Wallpapers

Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, 35 F.3d 1435 (9th Cir. 1994), was a copyright infringement lawsuit in which Apple Computer, Inc. (now Apple Inc.) sought to prevent Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard from using visual graphical user interface (GUI) elements that were similar to those in Apple's Lisa and Macintosh operating systems. The court ruled that, "Apple cannot get patent-like protection for the idea of a graphical user interface, or the idea of a desktop metaphor [under copyright law]...". In the midst of the Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit, Xerox also sued Apple alleging that Mac's GUI was heavily based on Xerox's. The district court dismissed Xerox's claims without addressing whether Apple's GUI infringed Xerox's. Apple lost all claims in the Microsoft suit except for the ruling that the trash can icon and folder icons from Hewlett-Packard's NewWave windows application were infringing. The lawsuit was filed in 1988 and lasted four years; the decision was affirmed on appeal in 1994, and Apple's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied.