It is nearly impossible to go anywhere in Arizona -- or the rest of the country -- without seeing a sea of iPhones. Since its debut in 2007, millions have been sold across the globe. Now, an inventor is claiming that Apple stole his design and filed business litigation against the technology giant, seeking $10 billion in damages and 1.5 percent of the company's future revenues.
The man claims that he invented a device similar to the iPhone back in 1992. He applied for a patent on his design, but for some reason, he never paid the fees that were required with his application. It was considered to be abandoned. Therefore, his assertions that Apple infringed on his design do not have a valid patent behind them. Furthermore, there are significant differences between his design and the iPhone.
These two issues alone make his lawsuit problematic. Apple is no stranger to being sued or filing lawsuits based on patent infringement claims. However, this case might present a unique challenge since the Florida man accuses Apple of going "dumpster diving" for ideas -- regardless of whether the patent was filed. He intends to present sketches and other documentation to the court to back up his claims, but whether a court will agree with his allegations remains to be seen.
As some Arizona business owners might already know, people often claim that they "created" or "invented" a product. In many cases, business litigation could be the only way to sort out those claims. The courts can provide definitive rulings, which could settle any controversy once and for all. Even though litigation can take a substantial amount of time and money, it might be worth it to discourage similar claims from others in the future.
Source: Fortune, "Man Claims He Invented iPhone In 1992 and Sues Apple for $10 Billion", Don Reisinger, June 29, 2016