How Free Office / Libre Office / Apache Office resembles Microsoft Office ?

Did they committed a breach of copyright and cheated Microsoft Office?

And, why till date, Microsoft is not taking any actions against them?

Has Microsoft forgiven their cheat or is it that Microsoft cannot do anything against them and is bearing that pain and cheat silently?

  • 3
    What exactly do you think is the problem that Microsoft would need to take action over? Apr 22 '21 at 4:34
  • The existing answers explain it quite well. Just wanted to comment, you can think of it like how Nintendo doesn't own the concept of platformers, or Kodi or Plex doesn't own the concept of media servers. Microsoft does not own the concept of word processors. No one has authoritative right to a type of software, only to their particular implementation of that type of software.
    – Seth Falco
    Apr 24 '21 at 0:53

Under current legal precedent in the United States, LibreOffice et al. did not commit copyright infringement. Look to Lotus v. Borland for the U.S. precedent allowing duplication of interfaces.

The code used to create each computer program is copyrightable and may not be duplicated without permission, but the functional components of the rendered interface are not protected by copyright. Therefore, making a completely new computer program, with completely original source code, that merely looks visually like an existing program (at least as far as functionality is concerned) is not a copyright violation.


One can hardly copyright the idea of an application which allows to write documents or which allows to do calculations on and in a table or to create and display presentations.

Other than that, Microsoft's products have nothing in common, least of all any code which a copyright claim would have to be based on, with the competing products which are not dictated by the function itself. As such Microsoft has no claim whatsoever.

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