Apple's iPhone Rip-off

Dennis Faas's picture

Although we've all been entranced with the beauty and sheer media power of the Apple iPhone, it's hard to imagine all that innovation could have come from just one tech company. Well, it might just be too good to be true, according to a recent suit alleging that the phone's maker lifted its whimsical keyboard design.

SP Technologies argues that it has held the patent rights to the iPhone's keyboard since the year 2000. The popular touch-screen feature, which has been responsible for much of the materialistic fanfare behind the device, was apparently developed seven years ago. That's clear in the SP Technologies patent filing, which claims a "method of providing a user interface for receiving information from a user using a user immutable graphical keyboard linked to an input area." (Source:

Although it's not so clear, in the middle of that techie mumbo-jumbo lies enough evidence to present Apple with a real problem. Insiders believe this most recent suit (not the first with the iPhone at the center) is undoubtedly the most threatening to the Cupertino-based company. In fact, it appears to be far more difficult for Apple than its iPhone battery unit patent suit, filed in Tyler, Texas.

In a surprising twist, the original owner of the patent, surgeon Peter V. Boesen, was recently sentenced to over four years in prison for fraud. He's been ordered to repay the government and private insurers to the tune of nearly a million dollars. (Source:

While Apple has yet to officially comment on the suit, in January CEO Steve Jobs made the shocking (and hard to believe) claim that his company owned all patents relating to the product. With that state of mind, it's unlikely Apple will fold to its far lesser-known attackers.

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