Florida man sues Apple for over $10B, claiming violation of 1992 'reading device' concept

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2016
A new lawsuit is reportedly asking for over $10 billion in damages from Apple, on the basis that the company is infringing on an "Electronic Reading Device" concept invented over 20 years ago.




The plaintiff, Florida's Thomas S. Ross, alleges that Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod lines copy ideas found in three technical drawings he produced between May and September of 1992, according to MacRumors. The illustrated device includes features that would eventually become standard in smartphones, such as a touchscreen, cellular link, photo and video browsing, and internal and external storage.

Some unusual elements include a folding dual-screen design, solar cells, a two-part hardware keyboard, and a 3.5-inch diskette drive.

The case doesn't appear to have many solid legal foundations. While Ross applied for a utility patent in November 1992, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office declared the filing abandoned in April 1995 since it never received application fees. In 2014, Ross filed to protect his drawings again via the U.S. Copyright Office.

In addition to a minimum $10 billion payout, Ross is seeking royalties up to 1.5 percent on infringing products. The complaint calls for a jury trial, but if the case isn't dismissed outright Apple will likely settle out of court for a small fraction of the demanded money.

The company occasionally deals with frivolous lawsuits, such as one which named U.S. presidents, judges, and celebrities as fellow defendants, or another connecting Apple to the Italian Mafia.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54


    derp derp derp
    jkichlinechiamdriftmeyerh2platifbpjasenj1jbdragonjony0
  • Reply 2 of 54
    This guy has been sniffing the bath salts.
    SpamSandwichchiacornchipjbdragon
  • Reply 3 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,588member
    Star Trek was way earlier!  ;)
    baconstangjbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 54
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,234member
    Man, I don't even know where to start.... he didn't even pay the patent registration, or for the copyright. This guy is so nuts, it is almost stylish. Almost. I would be ashamed to go on out on the streets thinking "maybe someone will recognize that I am the guy who made that claim" This calls for some Fawlty Towers: "I have seen more intelligent creatures than you lying on their backs at the bottom of ponds! I've seen better organized creatures than you running 'round farmyards with their heads cut off! Now collect your things and GET OUT!": Oh, and here, I have a patent for a reading device as well, I call them eyes, and when I was 4 I first sketched them. Next please.... Really, this made my day. 

    Plus, I learned something new today: The story behind "Florida Man". :-)
    SpamSandwichradarthekat
  • Reply 4 of 54
    sfobearsfobear Posts: 2member
    Star Trek was way earlier!  ;)
    Or 2001... :)

    I like how you'd have to fold a 3 1/2" floppy into thirds to insert it into the diskette drive. There really is some advanced, ah, engineering, in these drawings. 
    baconstangjkichlined.j. adequatechiaxiamenbilljbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 54
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 505member
    Wait until I sue the pants off Nike for infringing on my "Foot protective walking device".
    radarthekatchialatifbp
  • Reply 7 of 54
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,906member
    bdkennedy said:
    This guy has been sniffing the bath salts.
    Possibly even eating them?
    calilatifbp
  • Reply 8 of 54
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,020member
    I'm curious what this moron has been doing the last two decades? So he didn't pay the fees and decides to protect his work almost 20 years later? 
  • Reply 9 of 54
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,755member
    This buy is a bastard.  Why he did not sue when Newton message pad came out?  Why he did not sue Amazon Ereader? He sues only because iPhones are making obnoxious money and it has nothing to do with his "patent".
    jkichlinebaconstangchiajbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 54
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    So Apple copied this but android is %100 original....
    baconstanglatifbpcornchip
  • Reply 11 of 54
    tzeshan said:
    This buy is a bastard.  Why he did not sue when Newton message pad came out?  Why he did not sue Amazon Ereader? He sues only because iPhones are making obnoxious money and it has nothing to do with his "patent".
    And why do you give an actual f*ck what he does? :-) The world is so much more interesting with idiots around.
    radarthekatcornchip
  • Reply 12 of 54
    feacofeaco Posts: 8member
    I wonder if he graduated from Trump University. His claims appear to be similar to things Donald has said.
    d.j. adequatejkichlinebaconstangnasseraebobschlobrevenantronnRosynajustadcomics
  • Reply 13 of 54
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,549member
    Crazy. Lawsuits are an American past time.  
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 54
    Florida Man is the worst super hero ever. All he does is fly in circles and punch himself in the face. 
    h2platifbpjustadcomics
  • Reply 15 of 54
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,302member
    This guy obviously doesn't understand ANY engineering.  In this picture, the rechargeable battery is what, the size of a AA battery? The solar cells are the size of a matchbook? How the heck would you fit a 3.5" floppy disk in that size if the depth of the unit is 3.5"???

    This is really funny.  It's like he said "let's draw a picture of what a computer would look like if it find in my hand".  Nice try, but the guy doesn't understand basic concepts of size or electrical capacitance. 
  • Reply 16 of 54
    bdkennedy said:
    This guy has been sniffing the bath salts.
    My theory is this: It took him 20 years to find an attorney who was sniffing the same brand of salts.
    radarthekatbaconstangchiah2pDeelronlatifbpjustadcomicsbestkeptsecret
  • Reply 17 of 54
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,454member
    tzeshan said:
    This buy is a bastard.  Why he did not sue when Newton message pad came out?  Why he did not sue Amazon Ereader? He sues only because iPhones are making obnoxious money and it has nothing to do with his "patent".
    Kindle, the first fully successful ereader on the market.  Apple just had their app on the iPhone and iPad until iBooks came along.  Don't see this going far.
    baconstang
  • Reply 18 of 54
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,249member
    He's only asking for $10B plus 1.5%??  Heck... $10B is what, a couple quarters of iPhone sales?

    Perhaps he should be asking for.... One Hundred BILLION dollars!??  Bwahahaha...  *rolls eyes*
    radarthekattrollkillerbaconstangcaccamuccachiamwhiteDeelronlatifbpcornchipjustadcomics
  • Reply 19 of 54
    So, a 386 processor, a spinning disk drive and a 3.5" floppy drive all powered by tiny solar cells and a miniature battery? Hopefully he wasn't planning on going too far without charging this beast. 
    h2platifbp
  • Reply 20 of 54
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 896member

    [Newton pic]

    Actually, the first thing I thought of was a Sharp Wizard OZ-7000.  At least it folded in half vertically, and had a touch screen, and a full keyboard...
    baconstangcornchipjustadcomics
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