Setback for Apple copyright case

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The Independent Online
SEATTLE (Reuter) - Apple Computer's five-year-old copyright lawsuit against Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard was further narrowed by a a US District Court ruling late on Tuesday that leaves just four elements of HP's NewWave product in dispute and eliminates the three remaining Microsoft Windows elements at issue.

In addition to the four NewWave elements, the jury will be asked whether the works of either HP or Microsoft, as a whole, are 'virtually identical' to any of Apple's works - the strictest copyright standard.

The judge pared six of seven Apple programmes from the case against Microsoft and removed five Apple programmes in the HP case.

Apple said yesterday that despite the setback it still intended to press ahead with the 28 June trial of its allegations, which centre on alleged infringements of its copyright in its Macintosh windowing software.

'This is the trial date, here we go,' a spokeswoman Ylonda Davis said, adding that she was not aware of any settlement discussions.

Microsoft said it was 'extremely pleased' by the ruling.