Apple sued for $10bn by incredibly optimistic man who claims he designed the iPhone in 1992


Optimism is a wonderful quality, especially in these terrifying times. Far better that the glass remains half full, rather than smashed in pieces on the floor with water everywhere as the world appears to me at this precise moment. However, there comes a point when pure optimism switches to pure unhinged delusion.

Apropos of nothing, a man has claimed to have patented the iPhone back in 1992, some 15 years before it was released. That would be really something, bearing in mind mobile phones in 1992 looked a bit like this:

But the plaintiff Thomas S Ross has filed a lawsuit claiming that the iPhone, iPad and iPod infringe upon his hand-drawn “Electronic Reading Device”. Never mind the fact that the application was declared abandoned three years later when he failed to pay the application fees, just look at the damned thing and tell me you’re looking at an iPhone:

Yeah, exactly.

Back in 1992, though, this would have been a veritable Swiss Army knife of gadgets, running MS-DOS, with a physical keyboard, solar cells and a 3.5in floppy disk drive. Specs wise, it’s slightly harder to read, but I’m seeing a 640 x 480 backlit VGA display, an 80MB hard drive, a 16MHz processor and 2MB of RAM.

He also came up with a dual-screen version, given the runaway success of the first model:

How much is Ross seeking for these doodles? A modest amount for the “great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money”. How modest? $10 billion. That’s peanuts to Apple. Oh, but he also is seeking a royalty of up to 1.5% on worldwide sales of any device that infringes the patent.

He’s probably better off chasing Amazon for the original Kindle to be honest. At least that actually had a keyboard…

Image: Pocketline Vespucci used under Creative Commons

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