Some guy named Thomas S. Ross has decided to sue Apple because he claims he invented the iPhone first. Specifically, in 1992 he sketched something he called an “electronic reading device” that allowed a person to “communicate, write notes, … and store reading and writing material”.
In his lawsuit, he points out how similar the two devices are:
Yep, clearly he was thinking the same thing as Apple, fifteen years earlier. Never mind that technology in 1992 wasn’t anywhere close to making this thing a reality… I mean, I could have drawn some cool little device that did awesome impossible-at-the-time stuff then too!
His technical detail drawing is kind of funny:
Notice the floppy disk drive on the left-hand side, and the comment that it will use a 16MHz 386 processor. Oh, and tiny solar cells on the sides that will presumably power all of this.
Although his patent was declared “abandoned” by the USPTO in 1995 because he didn’t pay application fees, he says he has suffered “great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money”. So he decided that ten billion dollars should be enough to put his anguished mind at ease. Oh, and royalties on all ongoing iPhone sales.
Apple’s lawyers are probably enjoying this.