Many people here in Maryland use -- or have used -- an Apple product at some point in recent years. Not surprisingly, Apple's success with iPods, iPads and iPhones, among other devices has opened it up to numerous lawsuits over the years. Many of those cases have to do with patents, and recently, yet another piece of business litigation was filed against the technology giant. This time, a man is claiming that Apple owes him $10 billion and a piece of the action for every Apple device sold.
Why would he make this claim? The man insists that he invented the iPhone back in 1992 and that Apple stole his patent. He claims that he designed an iPhone-like device in that year, and even began the process to have it patented. However, according to the records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, he failed to pay the required fees, and the agency considered his application to have been abandoned.
This will be an obvious hurdle in the man's case, but there could be other roadblocks as well. For example, his materials indicate that a keyboard would need to be attached to the screen of the device. Since its inception in 2007, the iPhone has always used a digital keyboard. The designs also include other features that have never been a part of Apple's popular smartphone.
It remains to be seen whether this business litigation will progress since the court has not yet weighed in on the complaint. However, like many Maryland companies who achieve success with their products, Apple may always be a target for lawsuits. Apple would never consider dealing with this and other claims without legal representation, and neither should other companies -- regardless of whether they are big corporations or small businesses.
Source: Fortune, "Man Claims He Invented iPhone In 1992 and Sues Apple for $10 Billion", Don Reisinger, June 29, 2016