Just a day after the ninth anniversary of Apple’s first iPhone, news has emerged of a man in Florida suing the company for stealing his idea. Thomas S Ross is now demanding the brand pay him $10 billion for all the damage it has wrought.
His case comes just a few weeks after China threatened to ban the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for infringing on a Chinese patent. Subsequent reports suggested that this was nothing but a case of patent trolling. The new lawsuit may just be another instance of that happening. It certainly seems that way, since Ross’ patent drawings look nothing like the original iPhone.
Ross had filed a patent for an electronic reading device (ERD) back in 1992. The drawings showcase a rectangular hand-held gadget with a display and buttons for inputs at the bottom. His lawsuit claims that he was the first to register a device which was designed to offer a unique combination of media and communication tools.
He then goes to assert that Apple had hijacked and exploited his idea for its iPhones, iPods and iPads since the devices resemble his technical drawings of the ERD. Ross isn’t just restricting himself to the $10 billion in damages either, further asking for a ‘reasonable royalty’ of 1.5% of all future products.
It should be noted that Ross’ patent did not actually get approved all those years ago because he failed to pay the fees for it. He has an answer for this though, stating that Apple resorted to a dumpster diving R&D strategy when coming up with the iPhone.
Ross even goes as far as to quote Steve Jobs in the lawsuit, referring to a statement where he said that Apple has always been shameless about stealing great ideas. Ross will have to get in line though, since even the US government is staking claim to being the original architects of the first iPhone.