Bill Gates’ other company fined millions for intellectual property theft

“Seattle-based software company Infoflows has been awarded $20m in damages by a US Court, ending a three year dispute with Corbis,” Andrew Orlowski reports for The Register. “The judge decided that Corbis illegally stole Infoflows’ intellectual property – its software.”

“The names may not immediately mean much to you. But Corbis was founded in 1989 by William Henry Gates III – founder of Microsoft – who is the largest shareholder in the privately-owned company,” Orlowski reports. “Infoflows is a small Washington state company founded by former Microsoft product manager Steve Stone six years ago.”

“Infoflows had developed a license management system for digital assets, including images, called JazzSpider. The startup signed a license agreement with Corbis, and in December 2005 sent Corbis a PowerPoint slide of how the JazzSpider software worked. In June the following year, a licensing agreement between the two was signed,” Orlowski reports. “Infoflows then discovered that Corbis was patenting its own system based on what Infoflows saw as its own IP. “

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, a company founded by Bill Gates enters into an agreement with another company, gets access to that company’s IP, steals it, and begins selling it on its own. For some reason, this sounds strangely familiar…


  1. Reminds me of DOS.

    Didn’t they “barrow” DOS from some other programmer and just switch around a couple of things.

    No DOS, no contract with IBM. No IBM contract, no Microsoft.

  2. Not defending Microsoft, but I believe Microsoft bought DOS for something like $70,000 (might have been slightly less) off of a hobbyist developer.

  3. A tiger cannot change its stripes. Gates seems incapable of dealing honorably with partners when there is opportunity to simply steal intellectual property. The man is skunk. Regardless of his attempts to cleanse his reputation via The Gates Foundation. A look at the Gates Foundation activities shows that it is not an entirely altruistic organization. Even here, Gates uses the Foundation to leverage actions, including political ones, that suit his need for control. Gates is a critically flawed man.

  4. This is the same formula Gates used to develop Windows.

    Microsoft and IBM were working as partners, nine-to-five to develop PS/2. Microsoft stalled and obfuscated the process until it had finished Windows and then abandoned the PS/2 project shortly afterwards.

  5. Bill Gates used to stomp his feet and whine at Harvard when people stole his software creations.

    I mean it. He used to post warnings on the bulletin boards admonishing those who would dare copy, and not pay, for his software.

    He knows exactly how it feels to be weaseled out of one’s intellectual property. That is the Hell that awaits Bill Gates

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