In 1993, in the far-reaching "look and feel copyright" precedent ruling of Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, San Francisco federal Judge Vaughn Walker rejected Microsoft's argument that the dispute was a contractual matter relating to the original licensing agreement for Windows version 1.0. Instead, he found in favour of original design manufacturers who were entitled to "get patent-like protection for the idea of a graphical user interface (GUI), or the idea of a desktop metaphor [under copyright law]."..
By Ed, Brian Hartman, John E. Bredehoft & Stan BrinHowever the main beneficiary would be Xerox Corporation who had launched the first GUI computer called Star in 1981 (pictured). Because the Apple design team had been invited to view Star at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) research lab and these visits had been very influential on the development of the Macintosh which was launched two years later in 1983.
During 1990 the same judge had presided over a case in which Xerox had been denied $150m. However Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation redefined the "originality" argument proposed by Apple that while the individual components were not original, the complete GUI was. During the case, Apple had been forced to admit licensing many of its representations from Xerox opening the wider debate of whether copyright protection only extends to original expression.