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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Best of MacNN: Detroit woman sues Apple, Nike for $5 billion

Best of MacNN: Detroit woman sues Apple, Nike for $5 billion
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Jun 29, 2016, 04:45 PM
Editor's Note: as we count down the last days of MacNN, we've been picking some favorite stories to re-run. We've seen it all across these 21 years, and we've pointed to some of the biggest stories we've ever covered, but just as memorable are the oddball ones. This is another of those: the phrase "detachable beeper disc digital gym shoe computer wrist watch" won't leave our minds anytime soon, nor Ms. Washington-Gross' demand for $5 billion in recompense from Apple (and not anyone else in the wearable field, it would seem). The case was dismissed about a month after it was filed, but it lives on in our hearts.

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 Reebok lawsuit 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.

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