Apple to pay £2.1 million for copying the “Click Wheel” command button on its iPods

IpodLast Thursday (26th of September 2013), The Tokyo District Court ordered Apple to pay $ 3.4 million (£2.1 million) to the Japanese engineer who originally created the technology behind its famous iPod “Click Wheel”. The inventor has appealed the judgment believing the amount inadequate.

It seems that once again, the technology giant, Apple, will be forced to pay up for patent infringement. Accused last year of copying the design of the Swiss railway clock for its iOS6 Clock application, the firm came to a reported settlement of 20 million CHF (£13.4 million) with Swiss Federal Railways Roads last October.

This time, however, the American giant has failed to reach an agreement with the plaintiff and must pay $ 3.4 million (£ 2.1 million) to Norihiko Saito, the Japanese engineer who first invented the “click wheel”, the main control button on Apple’s distinctive music player.

On Thursday 26th of September, the Tokyo District Court held that the company had indeed copied the technology from the original inventor, reports the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.

The plaintiff’s lawyer was pleased with the result and its positive impact, he said “It was recognized that the idea of ​​a Japanese inventor had been used in a product which achieved worldwide success. This judgment will encourage all inventors.”

Apple’s only consolation is that it will be able to continue marketing its iPod as the complainant has not asked for it to be withdrawn from sale.

This round touch command controls the iPod by touch, but also has buttons that the user can press. According to his lawyer, the Japanese man created the technology in 1998. Following its invention, the engineer was contacted by Apple who wanted to acquire his license in order to commercialize the device. Despite these negotiations never being successful, Apple went ahead and released the music player in 2004, featuring the unlicensed technology.

The inventor began proceedings against Apple in 2007 and even now the case is not at an end. Believing the amount of compensation ordered inadequate, the inventor has decided to appeal against the court’s recent decision.

(Sources include Nippon Connection)

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