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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Detroit woman sues Apple, Nike for $5 billion over wearable tech

Detroit woman sues Apple, Nike for $5 billion over wearable tech
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NewsPoster
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Apr 14, 2016, 09:14 PM
 
Detroit resident Daisy Washington-Gross is suing Apple and Nike over wearable computing. In a federal court filing from last week, the woman is seeking $5 billion combined between the pair for violating her patent from the '90s on the broad topic of a "detachable beeper disc digital gym shoe computer wrist watch."

In the filing, Washington-Gross notes that Apple failed to "write or call" the woman, "who was the first to put the compatible watch in the Patent Office to prove the patent infringement" in 1995. The woman has included no supporting documents for her claim, other than a price list including the Casio G-Shock Watch, alongside several models of Apple Watch.

The woman is seeking a jury trial, similar to the one she sought in 2000 against Reebok leveraging the same patent. She is looking for $2 billion from Apple, and $3 billion from Nike for infringement of her patent -- but it is unknown how she reached those particular figures. The woman filed a similar suit in 2000 against Reebok using the same patent, which was dismissed in 2001.

Judge Arthur J Tarnow has been assigned to the case. Washington-Gross claims that she has sufficient "correspondence, drawings and other paperwork" to back up her claim, according to Michgan Live. Assuming the judge allows the case to proceed, Apple has until April 29 to respond to the court. The patent appears to have been struck from the register in 1997, so it is unclear why Washington-Gross feels that she has the standing to sue.

Daisy Washington-Gross vs Apple

( Last edited by NewsPoster; Apr 14, 2016 at 09:18 PM. )
     
Ham Sandwich
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Apr 15, 2016, 08:24 AM
 
Gross is the amount of money that is being asked of the prosecutor in yet another ridiculous lawsuit-of-jealousy against Apple. Quit suing Apple.
     
pottymouth
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Apr 15, 2016, 08:46 AM
 
Isn't this why we invented Thunderdome?
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 15, 2016, 08:49 AM
 
This is one of my all-time favorites I've written in the four years I've worked here.
     
Inkling
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Apr 15, 2016, 01:32 PM
 
Quote: 'violating her patent from the '90s on the broad topic of a "detachable beeper disc digital gym shoe computer wrist watch."' The "struck from the register" suggests this patent was challenged and tossed out, but the fact that it even made it in, however briefly, and the fact that the judge would let this proceed hint at just how messed up our patent system is. And that "gym shoe computer wrist watch" is hilarious. Such a device would be virtually unusuable.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 15, 2016, 01:51 PM
 
And the inference that the device is designed to be in your shoe or on your wrist? That's just... stinky.
     
Makosuke
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Apr 19, 2016, 06:02 PM
 
I'm a little confused here. Given that her "patent" does not exist, so it was either never granted in the first place or invalidated after the fact... how, exactly, does suing someone over it work? How was this not thrown out before it got anywhere near a court?

That's like saying "I filed a patent for 'car that does things with electricity' in 1995, and it was rejected because it wasn't patentable, so I'm going to sue GM over the Volt because it violates my idea".

Or, more accurately what this sounds like, which is "I sent an unsolicited letter with some random, unpatentable idea 20 years ago, and now I'm suing because someone built something that seems vaguely similar, even though I have no actual right to this concept since I never patented it." Last I checked, if I didn't patent it and have no trade dress case, either, there's absolutely no way you can claim ownership of an idea.

The entire purpose of patent law is that if you don't actually have a patent, you're out of luck.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 19, 2016, 06:06 PM
 
It was granted in 1995, and invalidated in 1997.
     
   
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