A Man Claims He Invented The iPhone in 1992, Sues Apple For $10 Billion

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When was the iPhone really invented? Well, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) invented the device in 2007. But a man from Florida has claimed that Apple has copied his designs and stolen his idea that he developed way back in 1992 and has sued the Cupertino Giant for a whopping $10 billion and 1.5 percent royalties from Apple’s revenue. According to him, Apple has given him a ‘great and irreparable injury’ that cannot be cured by money.

The self-proclaimed victim from Florida, Thomas S. Ross, claims to have filed a patent on June 28th, 1992, 15 years before the invention of official iPhone and 9 years before the invention of iPod.

iPhone invention

The rectangular device doesn’t feel like resembling anywhere near to the debut iPhone as it has a physical keyboard and an iPhone never housed a physical keyboard. The sketch also shows that the device had a touchscreen, cellular connectivity, photo, video and external as well as internal storage. As in 1992 big bulky and expensive mobile phones existed by that were mainly user for calling purpose.


The question arises as what Ross was doing all these years, considering the fact that his designs appear way ahead of time in 1992. He applied for a utility patent to protect his designs, but his application was turned down by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 1995 because he failed to pay the fees.

“The first to file a device so designed and aggregated as to have created a novel combination of media and communication tools, whose identity was, since then, hijacked and exploited by Apple’s iPhone, iPods, iPad and others.” His lawsuit says.

This is not the first time

Ross’ claim of $10 billion against the damages is not a big deal considering the market value of Apple which stands at a whopping $604,304 million. The company that is ranked at number 3 in fortune 500 list has been a talk of the town for a while. Apart from that, Apple has developed state-of-the-art products especially its iPhones and iPods that have been an overnight success when they were launched. In 2002, around 600,000 iPods were sold worldwide and its debut iPhone recorded overwhelming 1,389,000 units were sold in 2007 alone.

The existence and debut of iPhone have been a topic of discussion lately. Recently, Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader in the US House of Representatives, stressed on the fact that US Federal Government should have the real credit for iPhone’s invention rather than Steve Jobs or Apple. She asserted that the technology such as GPS, digital camera etc. was already available and Steve Jobs just designed and assembled these technologies in a way to be housed into a single device named the iPhone.

Interestingly, many people across the world are ignorant of the fact that the iPhone existed in 1998. Yes, that’s right; a company named ‘InfoGear’ developed the first iPhone in 1998. Except for the name the device doesn’t look like Apple’s iPhone rather it was a telephonic device that had a touchscreen through which one was able to browse the web. As the device was vastly expensive and the Internet penetration in 1998 was minimal that’s why this device failed to gather any momentum and eventually failed to impress the marketers.


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