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This guy is suing Apple because he claims he invented the iPhone in 1992

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David Cornish
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Thomas S Ross is an ambitious man. 

The Florida-based tinkerer is suing Apple - one of the largest and most powerful companies in the world - for £7.5 billion. Because he claims that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod all infringe on an "Electronic Reading Device" he designed back in 1992.

Seriously.

  • This guy is suing Apple because he claims he invented the iPhone in 1992

    This is Ross's invention

    Ross first set down his idea for a tablet reader in May 1992 - sketching out his device by hand. By 10 September 1992, he had three drawings, which he sent off to the US Patent and Trademark Office. 

    Unfortunately for Ross, he wasn't able to pay the registration fees for the patent, so the office declared his application abandoned in 1995. 

  • This guy is suing Apple because he claims he invented the iPhone in 1992 1

    What does Ross' device do?

    According to the lawsuit filed by Ross against Apple (dug up by MacRumors), his original device would allow users 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."

    But Ross' sketches didn't end there: "He further imagined that it could include communication functions, such as a phone and a modem, input/output capability, so as to allow the user to write notes, and be capable of storing reading and writing material utilizing internal and external storage media. He also imagined that the device would have batteries and even be equipped with solar panels."

    Take that, Apple. Even the iPhone doesn't have a modem...

  • This guy is suing Apple because he claims he invented the iPhone in 1992 2

    So what does Ross want?

    Despite not having been granted his patent, Ross is still attempting to seek compensation for "great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money". 

    That equates to a trial by jury, a "restitution no less than $10 billion (£7.5b)" and a royalty of up to 1.5 per cent on Apple's worldwide sales of infringing devices. Which, if it's back dated, is... well, loads. Loads and loads of money.

    If you need us, we'll be hurriedly sketching out patent designs for every gadget we ever saw on the Sy-Fy channel. Fingers crossed...

    [Via: MacRumors]

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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