A man, Thomas Ross, claims he invented iPhone in 1992, 15 years before it came out, and is suing tech giant Apple for $10 billion as compensation.
Ross from Florida, U.S.A argues that he created the iPhone and the iPad, and wants Apple to compensate him for stealing his idea.
In a lawsuit, unearthed by MacRumors, Ross claims he has suffered, ‘great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money’, and is asking for more than $10 billion in the lawsuit, as well as 1.5% of all Apple’s sales as part of his royalties.
Ross’s lawsuit claims his idea was the original and is demanding Apple destroy all “copies and knock-offs” that the company created. The irate inventor cites his sketches from 1992 as evidence that he was the revolutionary genius behind the iPhone — not Steve Jobs.
The drawings, which were sketched 15 years before the iPhone’s debut in 2007, bear some resemblance to Apple’s device; it’s a rectangle with a screen on it. He describes Apple’s multi-million-selling iPhones as ‘knock-offs’ and ‘ERD lookalikes’.
His 1992 patent request, which was abandoned in 1995 after he failed to pay the application fee says; ‘The device, constituting the invention, is a computerized, electronic reading device, the purpose of which is to provide an alternative to paper-based print-media such as books, magazines, manuscripts and news media.’
In March 2015, Ross sent a cease and desist demand to Apple CEO Tim Cook, claiming the company has been stealing his design.
Apple’s lawyer reached back to Ross’ attorney and said the company was “confused” about his claims, according to court documents. Apple legal counsel Jeffrey Lasker in response said, any pursuit of claims against Apple in light of these facts would be baseless and objectively unreasonable.
In July 11, 2007, 12 days after Jobs debuted the first iPhone, Ross sued the U.S. Patent office for declaring his invention claim abandoned.