You know you’re in for a doozy when the story starts, “Florida Man…”

His claim seems weak, but it must really hurt to have had an idea, let it go, and then see something similar arrive later. I’ve always thought that ideas have time windows; as you’re getting an idea you should presume someone else is getting it around the same time, and the winner will be the person who acts first.

This is why getting the idea is 85% of an effort, and implementing is 15%, but you must step up.

Via Newser.

A Florida man who says Apple ripped off his design for the iPhone is willing to let the matter drop for the modest sum of $10 billion plus 1.5% of worldwide sales of the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Thomas Ross—who filed a patent for his “Electronic Reading Device” in 1992—has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming he has suffered “great and irreparable injury” and seeking a jury trial, the Daily Dot reports. Drawings submitted to the court include features standard on modern smartphones, including touch screens and video browsing, Apple Insider reports. Ross apparently never got further than creating the drawings.

“What Ross contemplated, was a device that could allow one to read stories, novels, news articles, as well as look at pictures, watch video presentations, or even movies, on a flat touch-screen that was back-lit,” a court filing states. Ross filed the patent in 1992 but it was declared abandoned in 1995 by the patent office after he failed to pay the necessary fees, reports MacRumors, which first spotted the lawsuit. Commenters there note that Ross’ device appears to bear strong similarities to devices in shows like Star Trek, as well as Apple’s own Newton PDAs from the 1980s. (Apple ended up paying $21 million to Swiss Federal Railways after being accused of ripping off a 1944 clock design.)


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5 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Maynard says:

    Also, this guy:

    …is getting sued by this guy:

  2. Kitten says:

    Also, my 16 yr old pointed out the iPhone in this pic is not the original introduced by Steve Jobs in 2007, which was apparently more curved on the edges? The one shown here is the iPhone 6 or 6s. #WhoCares

  3. I hate to break it to the fellow in Florida but ideas are not protected by copy-write law. Only the actual implementation of an idea in physical form is protected, such as an actual device or the design plans that you should have registered with the copy-write office. You can’t just say “I thought of that in 1975” and expect to be taken seriously.

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