May 10, 1987 |
In retrospect, the confrontation was inevitable. On one side is C. Wayne Ratliff, a rumpled, 40-year-old computer software wizard who wrote the pioneering electronic filing program called dBASE, which propelled Ashton-Tate into the ranks of the Big Three makers of personal computer software, with Lotus Development and Microsoft. On the other side is Edward M.
December 14, 1990 |
A federal judge shocked the software industry Thursday, ruling that Ashton-Tate Corp.'s copyrights on its top-selling dBase line of personal computer programs are invalid because the company repeatedly failed to disclose the product's intellectual origins. If the ruling is not overturned, it could cause chaos to Ashton-Tate's business by giving competitors full rights to copy the firm's primary product.