Hobbyist PC’s had been around for a few years. The Osborne 1, Altair 8800 etc. CPM was a popular operating system.
IBM designed a pc based on the 8088 and a new OS, Ms DOS. They included a expansion bus. IBM PC was an incredible, brilliant design. The IBM XT’s were must haves in offices.
They set the standard for PC’s. So much so that software and new hardware had to be PC compatible.
Then the market gets flooded with XT clones. Using the 8086 processor (or thecheaper Intel 8088).
Later IBM came out with the IBM AT’s based on the Intel 80286. They got cloned too.
I understand the components were off the shelf parts. But why wasn’t the entire design of the PC not protected by patents? Why were competitors allowed to flood the market with cheap clones?
I began my career with a PC XT clone on my desk at work. Later replaced with an AT 286 clone.
I don’t recall ever seeing any Apple clones. Steve Wozniak famously designed the Apple 1 using easily available off the shelf parts. But, they never got ripped off like IBM.