Florida man claims he invented the iPhone, sues Apple for $10 billion

“Florida resident Thomas S. Ross has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week, claiming that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod infringe upon his 1992 invention of a hand-drawn ‘Electronic Reading Device’ (ERD),” Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors.The court filing claims the plaintiff was ‘first to file a device so designed and aggregated,’ nearly 15 years before the first iPhone.”

“Ross applied for a utility patent to protect his invention in November 1992, but the application was declared abandoned in April 1995 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after he failed to pay the required application fees,” Rossignol reports. “He also filed to copyright his technical drawings with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2014.”

Rossignol reports, “While the plaintiff claims that he continues to experience ‘great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money,’ he has demanded a jury trial and is seeking restitution no less than $10 billion and a royalty of up to 1.5% on Apple’s worldwide sales of infringing devices.”

Read more and see Ross’ U.S. patent application illustrations in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nancy Pelosi begs to differ.

SEE ALSO:
Nancy Pelosi: The U.S. federal government invented the Apple iPhone – June 10, 2016
Apple wins patent trial brought by man who claimed to have invented iPhone – November 25, 2013
Apple in court to man who claims to have invented iPhone: No, you didn’t – November 20, 2013
Apple heads to trial against man claiming to have invented iPhone – November 12, 2013

31 Comments

      1. Talking about “Prior Art.”

        Something is very fishy about Ross’ drawings that tells me that he is a fraud!

        He specifies the “black and white or color LCD screens” on his 1992 invention are “LED backlit”, a technology that was not even on anyone’s horizon in 1992! In fact, in 1992, LEDs were essentially any color you wanted, if they were red or green. The white LED was not even developed until 1995, and the lumen out put was far too low to even be considered for a backlight. The first use of LEDs as an LCD screen backlight was not developed until 2003, and commercially in 2004! Yet Ross omnisciently and confidently claims his device in 1992 has LCD screens that are LED backlit! Why? How?

        Easy, the drawing had to have been done sometime in these past few years since these more modern LED technologies were developed. . . this guy is a fraud and his claims are fraudulent.

  1. “Ross applied for a utility patent to protect his invention in November 1992, but the application was declared abandoned in April 1995 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after he failed to pay the required application fees,”

    End of apples argument. The guy has no case, even IF he did have a drawing of the very first iPhone submitted back in 1992.

  2. Whoa, Apple has really screwed this guy. If Apple would have also included his idea for a 3.5 diskette drive, solar cells, typewriter keyboard, and a second numeric keyboard he would easily need 30 or 40 billion just to cover the therapy sessions.

    1. Back then the rules were that patents were valid for 17 years after issuance. (Today, it’s 20 years after acceptance for filing. What well financed groups were doing was getting a patent filed — and thus under patent protection — then drag out the time it was being reviewed for several years by filing changes and updates and getting the USPTO reviewer to allow a modified application to keep going with the original filing date intact. Some patents were getting 25 years or more of protection that way. Changing it to 20 years after acceptance for filing was about the only step forward, IMNSHO, when they vastly changed the system several years ago.)

      If we assume he had paid all the fees AND had paid all the upkeep fees (yes, there are fees required to keep the patent valid even after it is issued), then if it took a year to review, the patent would have been valid and in effect until some time in 2010.

      As it is he does not have a case at all. Apple should win this on a summary judgment.

      The court should sanction (fine) the lawyer who helped him file this case. If more lawyers got sanctioned over filing frivolous cases fewer cases like this would ever get filed. But alas, judges are lawyers too, and they are reluctant to smack their own kind without extreme justification.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.