Re: Patents

Harvey Newstrom (
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 10:46:46 -0500

> John Clark <> wrote:
> > Apple paid Xerox??? That contradicts everything I've read on the subject.
> > Where did you hear this ? How much did they pay? They must have gotten
> > more than "look and feel" so exactly what did they get for their money?
> Do you work in the field of computers? I thought it was common
> knowledge that Apple paid Xerox for technology. It didn't even occur to
> me to give a reference to support this. I don't have a reference handy,
> but I could try to find one.

I stand corrected! My research indicates that Apple did not PAY for information from Xerox. He legally obtained the rights to the technology without any cost. Xerox invited Steve Jobs in and let him look around for free. The Xerox execs didn't think that ethernet and the gui interface were useful as anything but toys. The point I misrepresented was that Xerox agreed that Apple had legal rights to use their ideas, whereas Apple thought they had sold their ideas to Microsoft for money, and Microsoft later used the ideas without paying.

I am watching this discussion with interest because an computer security idea of mine might be patented by IBM. I will allow them to do so, but I'm not sure what I believe about the idea of patent restrictions. I am concerned about cryptopgraphy patents where a mathematical algoritm is restricted. How do you pass laws to prevent certain mathematical values from being calculated? (My idea has nothing to do with cryptography. I can't say what my idea involves, due to client contracts, confidentiality, and lawyers.)

Harvey Newstrom <>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.