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Businesses Microsoft Patents Apple

How Steve Jobs Patent-Trolled Bill Gates 307

theodp writes "Apple, which is currently waging IP war on Android vendors, is no stranger to patent trolling. Citing the Steve Jobs bio, Forbes' Eric Jackson recalls how Steve Jobs used patents to get Bill Gates to make a 1997 investment in Apple. Recalled Jobs: 'Microsoft was walking over Apple's patents. I said [to Gates], "If we kept up our lawsuits, a few years from now we could win a billion-dollar patent suit. You know it, and I know it. But Apple's not going to survive that long if we're at war. I know that. So let's figure out how to settle this right away. All I need is a commitment that Microsoft will keep developing for the Mac and an investment by Microsoft in Apple so it has a stake in our success.' Next thing you know, BillG was lording over Jobs at Macworld Boston, as the pair announced the $150 million investment that breathed new life into then-struggling Apple. So, does Gates deserve any credit for helping create the world's most valuable company?"
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How Steve Jobs Patent-Trolled Bill Gates

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2012 @08:34PM (#39234969)

    I don't understand. are you saying Apple is NOT a patent troll? If you are it in no way came across in your post.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2012 @08:51PM (#39235103)

    Given that Microsoft accepted and shipped the code to their developers (and from a number of reports, did so knowingly), then I think Apple was entirely justified in adding Microsoft to the list of defendants in the case.

    As to what amount or specific remedy Apple should've received, I can't say. First, because I'm a physicist and not a lawyer. And secondly, because I'm Canadian and not American. You folks love your crazy-ass lawsuits down there.

  • by NicknamesAreStupid ( 1040118 ) on Saturday March 03, 2012 @09:35PM (#39235317)
    This is best explained by analogy, and I will try to put it into a /. context. Here goes --

    Professor Xavier (a.k.a. Jobs) once started a school for the gifted, called Apple Computer. There, he and his close associate, Beast (a.k.a. Woz), created a wondrous thing, the personal computer. Upon hearing about this thing, another mutant, Magneto (a.k.a. Gates), came to visit with his close associate, Sabretooth (a.k.a Ballmer), to find out more about Apple. Magneto wanted to plunder Apple but knew that Dr. Xavier had a mysterious 'reality distortion field' that could probe his mind. So Magneto took a special shell (called DOS) that kept Dr. Xavier from reading his mind (there was no point to reading Sabretooth's). Dr. Xavier thought that Magneto was fairly benign and agreed to supply Magneto with his new invention, the Mac. Magneto took the Mac back to his lair in Redmond, and invented 'Windows' (BTW, Sabretooth wanted to call it 'Doors').

    Since that day, Dr. Xavier and Magneto would meet at trade shows and Davos, where Magneto would boast of how his mutant Windows had conquered the other OSes -- MVS, VMS, Unix, OS/2, and even the Mac OS. Then, one day Magneto left his helmet in his luggage on the way to Davos, and it was lost by United Airlines (how odd?^). Upon meeting Magneto at Davos, Dr. Xavier realized all the things that Magneto had been hiding from him. So, he cranked-up his reality distortion field to super-strength, entered Magneto's mind, and left thoughts of tax shelters, charities, and vaccines in his head, along with the 'brilliant idea' of turning Magneto's company, Microsoft, over to Sabretooth. And, to top it off, Microsoft would bite a chunk of Apple for $150 million plus promise to develop Microsoft Office for the Mac OS FOREVER.

    With that, Magneto 'retired' to save the world from disease and left Microsoft in the hands of Sabretooth, who made Microsoft more profitable than ever AND more irrelevant than ever. The rest is history.


    Apologies to Stan Lee
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2012 @09:38PM (#39235351)

    "Don't you have to be poor, with no actual possession, to be a crack addict?"

    Well... yes? Until then it's just a hobby.

  • by JohnnyMindcrime ( 2487092 ) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:25AM (#39237957)

    ...Jobs went to Microsoft on his knees and begging for money to stop the final death of his company.

    Good to see that at least one point in his career, Jobs understood the word "humility".

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents