According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corp.

Apple listed 189 GUI elements; the court decided that 179 of these elements had been licensed to Microsoft in the Windows 1.0 agreement and most of the remaining 10 elements were not copyrightable —either they were unoriginal to Apple, or they were the only possible way of expressing a particular idea.

Is there a list available anywhere of the 189 elements that Apple claimed ownership of?


1 Answer 1


There's an opinion C-88-20149-VRW on Justia (also available on at Casetext) which contains the final ten, those that survived earlier rulings. They are:

  • A1 overlapping windows in front of a muted background;
  • A8 windows appearing partly on and off screen;
  • B1 top overlapping window displayed as the active window;
  • B2 window brought to top of stack when mouse clicked;
  • D1 gray outline of window dragged along with cursor when mouse pressed on window's title bar;
  • D2 window dragged to a new position when the mouse is released after dragging the window's outline;
  • D3 newly exposed areas on screen are re-displayed after the window is moved;
  • G4 icon may be moved to any part of screen by dragging along with cursor when user presses mouse on icon;
  • G5 display of icons on screen behind any open windows;
  • G6 icon's title displayed beneath icon; and

It's a little difficult to find non-dispositive documents (those that don't have an affect on future cases) since the intent of sites like those linked to are to provide documents for purposes of precedence. These non-dispositive documents seem to include the first and second supplemental lists of offending elements that Apple filed.

Further investigation showed up a document from Fenwick and West LLP, detailing legal state of the whole copyright look-and-feel situation (as of document's last update, 2018).

Section D, about the Apple/Microsoft/HP case, lists quite a few others that are not included above.

Note that I've curated this list, combining elements from the tables of rejected and still-potentially-copyrightable items (the latter suffixed with **), so any errors are likely to be mine:

  • Windows.

    • The rectangular shape of the windows.
    • The use of a muted background.
    • Overlapping windows per se.
    • Ability to move a window part on and part off the screen.
    • Top-most overlapping window displayed as the active window.
    • Clicking the mouse to bring a window to the top of a stack of windows.
    • Moving only the outline of a window when it is dragged with the mouse, and moving the window to the new position after the mouse button is released.
    • Re-displaying graphic information of a previously obscured window when an overlying window is moved.
    • Display of text in windows and dialog boxes in proportionally spaced fonts, rather than mono-spaced fonts.
    • Use of "muted tones" (black, white and gray) in the interface.
    • Graphics that indicate a particular window is the active window **.
  • Icons.

    • Use of iconic representation for objects.
    • Ability to place windows over icons on the desktop.
    • Placement of an icon's title centered below the icon.
    • Associating a different type of icon with each object type.
    • Presenting an icon image shaped like a file folder to indicate objects of type "directory".
    • Two dimensional arrangement of icons within a folder.
    • The appearance of particular icons, if original artwork **.
    • Use of a trash can icon to depict the discard function **.
  • Object Opening and Closing

    • Double clicking on an object, or clicking once and selecting the OPEN command, to open an object.
    • Dragging an object out of the trash can to reverse the decision to delete it.
    • When an object is opened, the display changes to show the contents of the object, creating the appearance that the icon is transformed into the window.
    • "Zooming rectangle" animation associated with the opening of an icon into a window or the closing of a window into an icon **.
    • "Graying out" an icon that has been opened into a window **.
  • Menus.

    • "View" menu item that allows a user to view objects as icons or in a tabular list.
    • An "Attributes" menu item calling up a dialog box that lists the attributes of a selected object.
    • Words and short phrases in menus, such as "Get Info".
    • Menu items that allow a user to print a listing of a folder’s contents, "straighten up" icons along a grid-line, create a new folder within an existing folder, supply a default name for a newly created folder, and select every object in a folder at once.
    • Artwork or unique arrangements of items in a dialog box **.
  • Icon Manipulation.

    • Ability to move icons to any position on the screen.
    • Editing an icon’s name by clicking on the name, causing an "I-beam" cursor to appear.
    • Ability to select any combination of one or more icons within a folder window.
    • Presenting a window in the same size and position it had the last time it was open when an icon is opened into a window.
    • Storing position of icons so that at the beginning of each session, icons have the same positions they had at the end of the previous session.
    • Ability to "drop" an icon into a folder by dragging the icon onto the top of the folder.
    • Use of reverse video to indicate an icon has been selected.
    • Use of a special discard folder for deleting objects, and asking a user for confirmation when the user attempts to place an application program in the discard folder.
    • Visual changes associated with an icon as it is dragged across the screen **.

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