Man who claims Apple stole his design for the iPhone, iPod sues company for $10 billion

By midian182 ยท 16 replies
Jun 29, 2016
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  1. Few companies have been involved in as many copyright infringement cases as Apple. But the Cupertino firm is now facing its unlikeliest and most ambitious lawsuits to date; a Florida man is suing the organization for $10 billion and a 1.5 percent cut of all future sales because he claims the iPhone, iPod, and iPad copied his 24-year-old design.

    Thomas S. Ross produced three hand-drawn technical drawings of an “Electronic Reading Device” (ERD) between May 23, 1992 and September 10, 1992. It does, admittedly, contain some elements found in modern smartphones, such an internal hard drive and a back-lit touch display that allows users to “read stories, novels, news articles, as well as look at pictures, watch video presentations, or even movies.” He also imagined that it could be adapted to include telecommunications features.

    There are, however, some unusual parts of the book-like device, such as the solar cells, two-part physical keyboard, and 3½-inch diskette drive.

    Ross did file a patent for his ERD design in 1992, but the Patent and Trademark Office abandoned the application in 1995 because he never paid the fees. He later tried – and failed – to get the decision overturned by arguing in court that the required fees were unconstitutional.

    In addition to the $10 billion Ross is demanding from Apple, his 1.5 percent slice of future sales would amount to around $3.5 billion a year.

    "Instead of creating its own ideas, Apple chose to adopt a culture of dumpster diving as an R&D strategy," the lawsuit says.

    With its physical keyboard, the design looks more like an old BlackBerry, but Ross probably realizes the big money comes from going after Apple.

    The iPhone maker hasn’t commented on the case, but the chances that Ross will eventually become one of the richest people in the world are, let’s face it, pretty slim.

    Permalink to story.

  2. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Hehe. Hehehe. Hahahahahahahahaha (looks again at the drawings, then his quote...) rofl

    Admitedly this is isn't my finest comment, but that pretty much represents my reaction to a not-so-bright case. What's up with this people, hahaha.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,747   +3,712

    Speaking out nearly a decade late makes this a perfect example of a troll or possibly a gold digger.
    Darth Shiv, caboob, stewi0001 and 3 others like this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,671   +1,961

    A closer investigation into the evidence revealed that the brown spots on all the pages were not part of the original design.
    stewi0001 and wastedkill like this.
  5. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,269   +437

    Another tool trying to cash in the lazy way!

    When he loses this apple should request 1.5% of his earnings for next 25 years.

    And I know they don't the money it would be to make a point!
  6. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 199   +164

    Not a huge fan of apple, but I hope their legal team absolutely obliterates that guy. I also hope he has to pay all the legal fees for both parties after the case ends.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  7. kgh00007

    kgh00007 TS Rookie

    Please get rid of the auto play ads that take my music listening while I'm browsing your site!
    stewi0001, wastedkill and psycros like this.
  8. kgh00007

    kgh00007 TS Rookie

    Take over my music listening, pausing what I'm playing on my phone. I have to constantly restart my music as it is paused multiple times while I'm scrolling through one of your articles. I don't mind ads, but this is one step too far.
    wastedkill and psycros like this.
  9. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,877   +1,298

    I'm sorry, but that's not an iPhone - its a Palm Treo.
  10. Diego Lee Rot

    Diego Lee Rot TS Rookie

    Poor guy. He got jacked.
  11. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +681

    Florida man...
  12. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    In apples eyes this is a legitimate lawsuit.
    Capaill likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,258   +455

    Yeah.... no. I'm not seeing anything that looks like Apple copied his designs. Has this guy already gone after Palm or Blackberry? What about the early PocketPC's that Microsoft developed? His designs are well before the iPhone. It does indeed sound like he is just trying to get a free ride.

    Maybe he should get some McDonald's coffee and spill it on himself then file a suit saying it was too hot.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    That dope sure isn't greedy is he? Maybe he just likes a lot.
  15. noc81

    noc81 TS Enthusiast Posts: 79   +29

    Eh, power to him.. Apple successfully sued countless companies for a square device with a screen on it, so they deserve some comeuppance.
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,813   +473

    Hear hear! What a stupid lawsuit - the statute of limitations on something like this should be less than 10 years.

    I'd much rather all the stupid lawsuits disappear including Apple's ones.
  17. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 617   +177

    Had he gone after Palm Pilot, which existed far before the iPhones, he might have had a case . . . except he let his patent application expire. No case against anyone. 16 years ago, had he paid his fees, he could've sued Palm Pilot.

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