iPod roots traced back to 1970s UK
By Matthew Sparkes
Posted on 8 Sep 2008 at 12:03
Apple has admitted that a British man played a part in developing the iconic and extremely profitable iPod, although he has so far received no money for his invention.
In 1979 Kane Kramer from Hertfordshire filed a patent for a digital music player that stored just three and a half minutes of music to a solid state chip - limiting media options to just one short song.
Nonetheless, a company was set up by Kramer to bring the IXI to a commercial release, but it slipped into the public domain in 1988 when the firm failed to raise the £60,000 needed to renew international patents.
Because of this patent lapse, Kramer has received no money from the sale of any of the 163 million iPods Apple has so far sold.
However, Apple recently contacted Kramer and hired him as a consultant in a legal case against another company that claimed the iPod infringed on its own patents, Burst.
"To be honest, I was just so pleased that finally something that I had done which has been a huge success and changed the music industry was being acknowledged. I was really quite emotional about it all," says Kramer, speaking to the Daily Mail.
After ten hours of deposition from the Briton the case was settled out of court. Kramer is now in talks with the company to agree on a compensation package, giving credit to the man for his design which was years ahead of its time.
Kramer isn't resting on his laurels, though. He is currently working on a new device which will record telephone calls and send the audio file via email. The device is expected to be used for business meetings and interviews.
Apple was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.
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