Documentary On The History Of Apple And Microsoft Show It Was All About Copying, Not Patents
from the just-a-reminder dept
Also noteworthy: no discussion of patents at all. At the very end of the clip there's a bit of a discussion from former Apple CEO John Sculley concerning Apple's legal fight with Microsoft over the look and feel of the GUI. He mentions there was nothing patentable, but that they felt it was a copyright violation. However, he also notes that Apple's strong belief that they could stop Microsoft via copyright also led to complacency within Apple, and less focus on competing by innovation.
In other words, the claims Choate makes are laughable. There was little to no reliance on patents during the early days, and a very strong culture of copying anything and everything, while competing by trying to out-innovate each other. Furthermore, big companies couldn't figure out what was going on, even if they wanted to copy these successful upstarts. At one point, Larry Ellison jokes about how IBM stupidly ceded the chip market to Intel and the OS/application market to Microsoft when it could have owned it all.
One point about the video. The YouTube link says this is from the "documentary" Pirates of Silicon Valley. That's incorrect. If I remember correctly, Pirates of Silicon Valley was actually a "TV movie" based on the same subject material, with Noah Wylie playing Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall playing Bill Gates. Instead, I'm pretty sure that the clips are actually from the documentary Triumph of the Nerds, put together and narrated by Mark Stephens, who is better known as Robert X. Cringely (there's another interesting historical story about the legal fight over the Cringely name, but that's a totally different tangent). This documentary actually came out in 1996, so it's interesting to see how it mostly predates the internet (though there is some discussion of the internet), Jobs' return to Apple and a variety of other things that happened over the past 15 years. Either way, it should put to rest Choate's silly claims.