Apple has admitted that 52-year old Kane Kramer, a British man who left school at 15, is the inventor behind the iPod. Kramer says he came up with the technology that drives the digital music player nearly 30 years ago.
Documents filed by Apple in a court case show the US firm effectively acknowledges him as the father of the iPod. They even flew Kramer to its headquarters to give evidence in its defence during a legal wrangle with another firm, Burst.com, which claimed it held patents to technology in the iPod and deserved a cut of Apple’s £89 billion profits. The dispute between Apple and Burst.com has since been settled confidentially out of court, mainly thanks to the help of the Brit.
Kramer’s design was made in a technological era that allowed for only 3,5 minutes of music to be held on a memory chip. He rightly anticipated long-term improvements in portable data storage and patented the device, which he called the IXI, worldwide. But in 1988, after a boardroom split, he could not afford to renew the filing.
He is now negotiating with Apple to gain some compensation from the copyright that he owns on the drawings.
And this is probably the funniest quote from the Daily Mail article:
‘I can’t even bring myself to buy an iPod for myself,’ he said. ‘Apple did give me one but it broke down after eight months.’
The man is currently starting up a new business for himself after his furniture design business was closed: he is working on an invention called the Monicall which will allow people to have phone calls recorded and emailed to the various parties as an audio file.