Thomas S Ross, a man who undoubtedly uses the phrase ‘If you don’t buy a ticket, you won’t win the lottery’ has filed an extremely audacious lawsuit against Apple. Why? Because the iPhone, iPod, iPad and all of their competitors were his idea, of course!
Easy as it is to ridicule Ross, he’s no fool. Back in 1992, he filed a patent for a rectangular handset with a large display, called an ‘electronic reading device’ (ERD). It looks more or less like a modern-day smartphone, and I’d probably feel quite indignant myself if I’d cooked up such an idea back then.
Unfortunately for Ross, his patent was never approved and was subsequently abandoned in 1995, after he failed to pay the relevant fees. Which brings us to the present. He claims Apple pinched his idea, and as such owes him $10 billion (£7.5 billion), as well as what he calls "a reasonable royalty" of 1.5% of all of Apple's future sales. That’s quite the demand.
"Instead of creating its own ideas, Apple chose to adopt a culture of dumpster diving as an R&D strategy," Ross' lawsuit says, adding that the company’s products “are substantially the same as his technical drawings of the ERD, and that Apple's three-dimensional derivative devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad), embody the non-functional aesthetic look and feel”. [Telegraph]