Man claims he invented iPhone concept in 1992; suing Apple for $10 billion

  • Thomas S. Ross is suing Apple for $10 billion, claiming that the company stole his idea for an “Electronic Reading Device” (ERD) that was patented in 1992
  • Ross is also demanding a royalty of 1.5% on Apple’s worldwide sales of devices which he said allegedly infringed his patent
  • Ross’s patent was declared abandoned in 1995 by the US Patent and Trademark Office, as he didn’t pay the needed application fee

FLORIDA, USA – A man from Florida alleged that Apple company stole his design for an “electronic reading device” and is now sold as iPhone.

Theodore Wilson mentioned in his article for Mirror Co UK that Thomas S. Ross is suing Apple for $10 billion over claims that the company stole his idea for an “Electronic Reading Device” (ERD) that was patented in 1992.

Aside from $10 billion claims, Ross is demanding a royalty of 1.5% on Apple’s worldwide sales of devices which he said allegedly infringed his patent.

A drawing of Ross’ ERD design in 1992 patent application showed a device that looks like a kid’s drawing of an iPhone, minus the keyboard. Following the scale on drawing and the 3.5-inch floppy drive it includes, the ERD will be about the size of a laptop computer.

Ross said that the “technical” drawings embody “a fusion of design and function in a way that never existed prior to 1992”. Furthermore, he also claims that “Apple’s three-dimensional derivative devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad), embody the non-functional aesthetic look and feel” of his design.

An article by James Titcomb for The Telegraph said that Ross’s patent was declared abandoned in 1995 by the US Patent and Trademark Office, as he didn’t pay the needed application fee.

However, Ross insists that “instead of creating its own ideas, Apple chose to adopt a culture of dumpster diving as an R&D strategy”.

The man said he felt “great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money.” However, many believe that he will struggle to convince a jury that Apple pinched his concept.

The lawsuit Ross v. Apple, Inc. was filed with the Florida Southern District Court on June 27. The case number is 0:2016cv61471.

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