As to Apple, Founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak y Ronald Wayne In 1976, the true story was also told in court: In 1979, Steve Jobs organized a visit to Xerox PARC for Apple Computer staff to receive demonstrations of Xerox technology in exchange for Xerox purchasing stock options in Apple. But Apple engineers used Xerox concepts – especially the mouse-based graphical WYSIWYG interface – to introduce the Apple Lisa and Macintosh systems.
Instead Larry Page and Sergey Brin have defended the originality of their Google indexer, origin of the empire. According to the series you just presented Netflix, they also have their ‘little secret’, that it’s called Google Earth and there was a millionaire trial for misappropriation.
‘The Billion Dollar Code’ is the typical battle of David vs. Goliath. And it continues to provoke as much anger as the first time.
Here it is convenient to reproduce a communication from 2014 dated in Wilmington, Delaware, USA:
“The origin of the popular Google Earth application is the focus of a patent infringement lawsuit filed on February 20, 2014 by ART + COM Innovationpool GmbH (” ACI “) against Google, Inc. in Delaware Federal Court.
In the lawsuit, ACI, which is a spin-off of ART + COM AG, charges that Google Earth products infringe US Patent Number RE44,550, entitled “Method and Device for the Pictorial Representation of Data Related to the space “, related to Google Earth Technology.
The key issues included in the lawsuit are:
- Google Earth can be traced directly to ACI’s proprietary method through Google Earth’s “development” history, including current executives;
- Google Earth has notable similarities to the commercial ART + COM system, which was developed nearly a decade before Google’s introduction of Google Earth; and
- Google’s infringement has been deliberate, potentially entitling ACI to triple the damages.
The lawsuit identifies current Google executives:
- Michael Jones, Google Earth Technical Director, and
- Brian McClendon, who is in charge of Google Geo Group and vice president of engineering for Google Maps,
who previously worked for companies that had access to information about the implementation of Terravision.
Terravision was ART + COM’s commercial implementation of its proprietary system.
In the lawsuit, ACI says it believes both Jones and McClendon were familiar with Terravision and generally familiar with its capabilities from their tenure at SGI.
“Terravision was developed using Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) Onyx computers that were the most powerful available at the time for processing and displaying graphical data,” said an ACI spokesperson.
“During the development of Terravision, our inventors worked directly with Michael T. Jones when he was at SGI, where he was our designated contact person. We understand that SGI subsequently used Terravision as a demonstration of the capabilities of its Onyx computers. “
Scott Partridge, a partner at Baker Botts LLP and ACI’s lead counsel on this matter, said: “The ART + COM patent is not directed at a mere Google Earth feature. Instead, the patent covers basic technology that, for example, allows Google Earth users to fly over Earth to a particular destination and then observe details such as weather, buildings, and other images. It works in a remarkably similar way to the Terravision system developed by ART + COM in the mid-1990s. It is a fundamental patent. “
That is the true story. In the Netflix production, the knot of the story is preserved, well set, with an agile script and as well acted as it is directed.
There are 4 chapters whose axis are the testimonies, during the Google trial, of Carsten Schlüter (Mark Waschke) y el hacker Juri Müller (Misel Maticevic), who met in 1993/1994 and invented the software that includes a spectacular algorithm that is still used today, even though a Delaware court said ART + COM could not prove the infringement, as requested by Google despite learning the truth, which required an appeal.
On the Google side, as always happens in those companies, there are lawyers – in this case Eric Spears (Seumas F. Sargent)-, people who do not understand projects, ‘visions’ and developments of what today is intangible, illusory, impossible, but tomorrow may be real.
But sometimes, other lawyers also appear – in this case, Lea Hauswirth (Lavinia Wilson)– convinced that power has Achilles heels.
In any case, the story is about Side B of Silicon Valley, a territory about which there are some truths but many myths as well, due to that stupid penchant for simplifying stories.
Speaking of the miniseries, Oliver Ziegenbalg he told SerienJunkies.de:
- Why did Google litigate against the real developers of Earth?
- Why imitate the behavior of Mark Zuckerberg?
- Corporate behavior is sometimes ridiculous and destroys even the good name of its managers.
To close, the statement from ART + COM AG itself:
“On October 7, 2021, the four-part miniseries ‘The Billion Dollar Code’ by screenwriter Oliver Ziegenbalg and director Robert Thalheim will begin on Netflix.
The ‘true facts’ mentioned in the opening credits, on which the story is based, are actually a central element of the ART + COM story – it is about the development of TerraVision in the mid-1990s and the subsequent dispute. legal on a software patent with Google.
“The Billion Dollar Code” presents a fascinating picture for two decades. Looking back at the times when dealing with computers and virtual worlds was anything but commonplace and required the development of something radically new, the pioneering spirit is told as an exciting and gripping story.
The series is not a documentary, but a feature film. The main characters are based on real people, but they do not correspond to the real actors. For cinematic and dramaturgical reasons, details are omitted and some things are simplified to make the complicated subject of a software ‘invention’ understandable to the layman as well. The core aspects of software development and legal processes, however, remain close to the real facts. In the end, ‘The Billion Dollar Code’ pays tribute to the pioneering work of the inventors of TerraVision.
ART + COM continues to work internationally for business, cultural and research clients. The pioneering spirit and the desire to investigate have been maintained, and a series of new formats and inventions have emerged in the areas of Art, Communication and Research. ART + COM continually reinforces its own research activities. The basis for these innovations is almost always the same: courageous clients from industry and culture who set themselves the goal of pushing the limits and creating new and innovative things together with us. “