“The man who nearly invented the iPod two decades ago let it slip through his fingers along with a fortune worth millions. British inventor Kane Kramer came up with the world’s first MP3 player in 1979, a device remarkably similar in appearance to the now ubiquitous music players,” Eleanor Mayne reports for Mail on Sunday. “A staggering 42 million iPods have been sold since it was launched in 2001, bringing its maker, Apple Computer, an estimated US$9.2 billion (Pounds 5.2 billion). Every minute another 100 are snapped up worldwide. There is no doubt that had Kramer hung on to his invention, he would now be a millionaire several times over. Instead, he runs a furniture shop in Hertfordshire, England.”
“Now Kramer is consulting lawyers to see whether he has any claim to the design and technology behind the MP3 player. ‘I don’t just get reminded once or twice that I didn’t get any benefit out of my creative thinking,’ he said. ‘Every time I walk down the street I see people with the headphones, or adverts for iPods,'” Mayne reports. “‘The iPod is the world’s fastest selling electrical equipment ever,’ said Kramer, ‘and I suppose, in a way, I am the world’s biggest failure.'”
Full story of how Kramer inventer the portable digital music player and then let his patents lapse here.
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