Florida man ‘very confident’ in $10 billion lawsuit against Apple for ‘copying iPhone’

“A businessman has filed a $10bn lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the iPhone, iPad and iPod all infringe his 1992 invention of an Electronic Reading Device, or ERD,” Olivia Solon reports for The Guardian.

“In an exclusive interview, Thomas Ross, from Miramar in Florida, told the Guardian that he knows he is fighting a goliath,” Solon reports. “Ross, who now works as a manager at a law firm, imagined a device that could, according to court documents, ‘allow one to read stories, novels, news articles as well as look at pictures, watch video presentations, or even movies, on a flat touchscreen.’ It would also include communication functions, such as a phone and a modem, and would come with rounded edges in various sizes.”

“Ross argues that Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad are ‘the very essence’ of his ERD. He supports his claim by making reference to the fact that Steve Jobs bragged in 1996 that the company had always been ‘shameless about stealing great ideas,'” Solon reports. “Ross recognises it won’t be easy. “I’m against some very esteemed and well-known attorneys. They know what they’re doing,” he says. Nevertheless, he remains bullish about his chances. ‘I am very confident. I believe in what I did. In spite of the odds I feel that I have a shot at it.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ross’ claims are without merit, not to mention at least as laughable as Nancy Pelosi’s.

Florida man claims he invented the iPhone, sues Apple for $10 billion – June 28, 2016


  1. Florida man’s lawyer ‘very confident’ that he’ll get paid, despite the fact that this lawsuit is dead-in-the-water already.

    I hope the Florida man wears Depends. He’s in for a big pants-peeing disappointment.

    1. He’s handling this case in pro per. He’s arguing it as his own attorney. LOL! That’s probably because no competent attorney would file it for him. In 2006, he filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government to re-instate his patents, had it dismissed, appealed the dismissal, and the appellate court ruled he had no grounds to even sue as his patents had no proper claims originally, his suit had no grounds, and he had no standing to sue the Federal Government without Congress’ explicit agreement to allow a suit, plus his suit was not timely within the statutory limits for such claims as previously set by Congress. That appeal was settled in 2008. He’s not only crazy, he’s toast.

    1. The patent was abandoned in 1995 to begin with, secondly the Newton was already on the market when he filed said patent in the first place, and all iPhone/iPad development can be traced to that device. And if you want to go even further…. Alan Kay described this type of device in the 70’s…so yeah… This guy has no shot. He knows it, and he’s hoping for a quick settlement. He figures apple will just throw a couple million his way to shut him up, except Apple doesn’t do that, he’ll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate this and if apple ever does settle with him, it’ll barely cover the legal fees.

    2. But he doesn’t does he, he never kept up with the payments if previous commentary is correct and thus it was never verified. Not to mention the Newton covers most of that in 1987 with other variations pre dating even that. If had ever built it it would have breached others patents no doubt for most of its functionality. His only hope is that there might be the odd specific function he envisaged that wasn’t covered in previous devices perhaps around communication but seems a very long shot and probably hopes he will get a quick pay off from Apple rather than the cost and distraction of fighting it, but seems a long shot I suspect as everything he mentions was Pre envisaged by other people or devices.

    3. I thought patents only last 20 years. The patent in question is from 1992 and wad declared “Abandoned” due to non-payment of a required fee in 1995. Florida Man is on his bath salts again.

  2. Apple famously introduced the concept of the iPhone & iPad, Siri, etc. in its 1987 video “Knowledge Navigator.” It’s available on YouTube. So it’s much more likely Ross lifted his 1992 “ideas” from Apple and with time and ego, forgot where they came from and began to believe they were his. Similar to all those people who claimed to have invented tin foil (or the Internet).

    1. You are right: This video will shoot down Thomas Ross’s claims: John Scully’s 1987 Keynote Video “Apple’s Knowledge Navigator”, which covers almost every thing that Ross included in his ERD, five years before he claims he drew is doodles.

      However, I doubt he even drew them when he says he did because he made an error, claiming his device has something he could not possible have projected in 1992 because it requires something that was not even yet invented until 1995 or made into a viable product until 2004!

      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 as long as they were red or green, perhaps amber. The white LED was not even developed until 1995 and in fact made quite a big splash in the media when it was introduced. However, the lumen output of the white LED was far too low to even be considered for a LCD 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 that his LCD screens are LED backlit in a little note on his drawing when all such screens in ’92 are backlit by miniature florescent bulbs! Why? How?

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

  3. Holding a current valid patent that had been issued by the PTO allows an inventor to sue in Federal court. A suit filed in a state court would be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction right off the bat. A case filed in Federal court would also be dismissed as an infringement suit requires a valid patent that has been infringed. This guy is going to a knife fight with a rubber dagger. Apple’s attorneys will end this joke with a single motion.
    Even with a current valid patent it costs upwards of $100,000 to prosecute a patent infringement case with little chance of beating the likes of Apple…

  4. I have to say, Florida Man is pretty sharp. After 9 years (probably spending most of that time trying to get to level 10 in WOW), he comes out of his room and realizes immediately he needs to patent troll Apple.

  5. Damn, I gotta get my transporter, warp drive, replicator, phaser, photon torpedo patents in, uh, well, even though I have no practical way of actually creating such devices currently. Eh heh.

    I love how just because some doofus patents a future device concept or idea that the rest of us have already thought about for the last 50-100 years, that they’re entitled when someone else actually makes it work and markets it.

  6. I’m sure he’s “very confident” because he has the bestest, most awesome patent on the planet, and Apple’s lawyers are “stupid” and will cave at the moment they face up to him across the table holding his copy of “Art of the Deal!”

  7. “making reference to the fact that Steve Jobs bragged in 1996 that the company had always been ‘shameless about stealing great ideas,’””

    Another person who didn’t understand the metaphor.

  8. First the government grants you a vague patent while you go and finish your new product. Apple does this all the time.

    This guy never made a product, probably because he had no clue as to how. He sat on his idea and didn’t make any contribution to society. Now he want’s to be paid for doing nothing?

    FYI – Star Trek, as well as many others, came up with a handheld touch screen long before Ross did.

  9. Ross recognises it won’t be easy. “I’m against some very esteemed and well-known attorneys. They know what they’re doing,”

    This is so laughable, Apple is giving this one to one of the interns.

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