“His inventions include the technology behind the MP3 player …”
Like the iPod, perhaps?
Surely not. That was Steve Jobs’ Apple invention.
“Apple has finally admitted that a British man who left school at 15 is the inventor behind the iPod,” says The Mail online, continuing »»»
Kane Kramer, 52, came up with the technology that drives the digital music player nearly 30 years ago but has still not seen a penny from his invention.
And the father of three is so hard up he had to sell his home last year and move his family to rented accommodation.
Now documents filed by Apple in a court case show the US firm acknowledges him as the father of the iPod.
The computer giant even flew Mr Kramer to its Californian 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 pic on the left was sketched more than 20 years before the iPod.
“Note the size and shape, screen and central 4-way scrolling navigation controls,” says Kramer on his site.
“Did somebody hold the idea very close to their chest until the market was ready to receive such a revolutionary product?”
It was, “what the first Portable Digital Audio player ever looked like on paper,” he states. Kramer drawing was done in 1979 when he was 23 and, “shows quite clearly the concept” Kane believed would, “revolutionize the music industry.”
He called it the IXI System and its 1981 patent, “explains how the whole idea revolved around distributing music electronically down telephone lines, this was many years before the internet had been invented”.
In 2006, “”I came up with the idea of downloading music (and data and video) down telephone lines in 1979 when I was 23, and patented it,” Kramer, who who organises the annual British Invention Show, told the Guardian Unlimited.
He went on, “With James Campbell, who was 21, I developed a working prototype. We had orders worth £60m from the recording industry for our solid-state digital recorder when we lost control of the patent. There was a coup attempt within the company and we couldn’t raise enough money to pay the patent fees in time. So the patent was voided.”
Says the Mail story »»»
Apple used Mr Kramer`s patents and drawings to defend itself in the legal wrangle with Burst last September and he gave evidence under fire from Burst’s lawyers.
Mr Kramer, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, said: `I was up a ladder painting when I got the call from a lady with an American accent from Apple saying she was the head of legal affairs and that they wanted to acknowledge the work that I had done.
`I must admit that at first I thought it was a wind-up by friends. But we spoke for some time, with me still up this ladder slightly bewildered by it all, and she said Apple would like me to come to California to talk to them.
‘Then I had to make a deposition in front of a court stenographer and videographer at a lawyers’ office. The questioning by the Burst legal counsel there was tough, ten hours of it. But I was happy to do it.`
The dispute between Apple and Burst.com has since been settled confidentially out of court.
Mr Kramer said: `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.`
He is now negotiating with Apple to gain some compensation from the copyright that he owns on the drawings.
But so far he has received only a consultancy fee for providing his expertise in the legal case.
A staggering 163 million iPods have been sold since the device was launched by Apple in 2001.
What’s Kramer doing these days?
His latest invention is Monicall, “a system for making conversations into enforceable and legally binding agreements”.
It’s “Better than a handshake,” he says in his marketing slogan, going on one application is called the Bully Button.
It’s a, “small transmitting and recording device that can be worn discreetly by the victim of bullies and that will record incidents and conversations, writing them straight onto a hard disk,” says Kramer.
“This gives anyone monitoring the behavior of bullies a recording of an incidence that they can study.”
The Mail -Apple admit Briton DID invent iPod, but he’s still not getting any money, September 7, 2008
Burst.com – Burst`s Apple triumph, November 6, 2007
Guardian Unlimited – Talk time: Kane Kramer, September 30, 2004, 2006
Talk time: Kane Kramer, September 30, 2006
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