A Florida resident has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week, claiming he created the iPhone and the iPad, and wants Apple to pay him $10 billion for stealing his idea. And by the way, $10 billion is just 1.5% of Apple’s total sales – so they might not even feel a pinch of it if he wins his case in court.
According to NY Daily News, Thomas Ross, the irate inventor, is suing the tech giant, citing his sketches from 1992 as evidence that he was the revolutionary genius behind the iPhone - and 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. By those standards, Ross could have also claimed to have invented the Kindle, the personal digital assistant and the Nintendo DS.
In the second drawing is a clamshell model with touchscreens on both sides and a stylus - which resembles Nintendo’s handheld system more than it does an iPhone. Ross pitched these as “electronic reading devices” in his 1992 patent request, which was abandoned in 1995 after he failed to pay the application fee.
“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,” Ross wrote in his patent request.
The lawsuit, uncovered by MacRumors, called Apple’s devices “ERD looka-like units,” claiming his idea was the original. He’s demanding Apple destroy all “copies and knock-offs” that the company created.
Steve Jobs pictured with the first iPhone in 2007 - 15 years after Thomas Ross first made his sketches.