Thomas Ross, a Florida man claims that he invented the iPhone and iPad and demands Apple to pay him the sum of %10 billion for stealing his idea. He stated that iPhone and iPad are not the creative work of Steve Jobs. Thomas sued Apple Inc. and cited his sketches from 1992 as proof that he was the innovatory brain behind iPhone.
The sketches/drawings show a rectangle with a screen on it. The drawing was made 15 years before the debut of iPhone in 2007.
However, the sketches bear some resemblance to Apple’s device, but judging by these standards, Thomas Ross can as well claim that Kindle, Nintendo DS and the personal digital assistant are his inventions since they are all rectangular in shape with screen on it.
The second sketch is a clamshell model with touch screens on both sides as well as a stylus which bear a resemblance to handheld system of Nintendo.
In his 1992 patent request, Ross pitched these as ‘electronic reading devices’ but it was abandoned in 1995 due to his failure to pay the application fee.
Ross wrote in his patent request that ‘the device which constitutes the invention is a computerized, electronic reading device whose purpose is to provide an option to paper-based print-media like magazines, manuscripts, books and news media’.
The lawsuit called the devices of Apple ‘ERD looka-like units’, arguing that his idea was the original. He’s insisting Apple destroy all ‘copies and knock-offs’ which the company created.
Sometime in March 2015, Thomas Ross sent across a cease and desist demand to the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, maintaining the company has been stealing his design.
Jeffrey Lasker, Apple Legal counsel wrote in response that any pursuit of claims against Apple with respect to these facts would be objectively unreasonable and baseless.