Steve Jobs did not invent the iPod. Neither did Bibble.
No, the inventor of the iPod is Kane Kramer, a British guy who stored three and a half minutes of music on a microchip in 1979.
In fairness to Apple, they did not “steal” Kramer’s idea. According to the Daily Mail, Kramer set up a company to develop the iPod idea:
But in 1988, after a boardroom split, he was unable to raise the £60,000 needed to renew patents across 120 countries and the technology became public property.
Patent law: how good ideas are redistributed from kooky inventors to effective businessmen.
And with that Kramer might well have been discard into the Farnsworth bin of history.
But thanks to a dispute between Apple and Burst.com, Apple needed Kramer. Apple flew Kramer to California to give crucial testimony about the prior art behind the iPod. The dispute between Apple and Burst.com was settled out of court, but Apple is stuck with the price of admitting that the iPod was invented across the pond.
Why Biglaw associates should support Apple giving money to Kane Kramer, after the jump.