Feeling like your technology has let you down? You could file a lawsuit and win, judging by recent events.

Are you feeling hard done by following a recent software update to your much-loved computing device? Or maybe you feel like your ideas have been stolen by a massive corporation? Judging by recentl lawsuits against both Apple and Windows, you might be able to take on multi-national corporations – and win.

Earlier this week, a women from Seattle successfully sued Microsoft over the disruption caused by the Windows 10 update that she claim she had not permitted.

Following the suit, Microsoft has agreed to offer clearer options for users upgrading to Windows 10; and allowing the option not to.

In recent months, in an apparent bid to coerce Windows users into upgrading to the latest software, Microsoft altered the way it asked users if they wanted to upgrade; the Windows 10 update was given ‘recommended’ status, which is normally reserved for critical security updates.  This meant that when prompted to update to Windows 10, users who opted to decline the update did not actually prevent it, only delay it until a later time.  From this week, Microsoft said it would change that process, admitting that it was confusing.

In the same week, a man from Florida is also suing Apple for $10 billion, claiming that Apple stole his idea when it released the iPhone nine years ago.  The claimant, a Mr Thomas S Ross, filed a patent for his ‘Electronic Reading Device’ in 1992;  the device was a rectangular, hand-held gadget with a screen, much like the famed Apple iPhone.

Ross claims the iPhone is substantially similar to the technical drawings of his Electronic Reading Device, and that Apple’s three-dimensional derivative devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad) embody the aesthetic look and feel.

As well the lump sum he is filing for, Ross also claims he is owed a reasonable royalty of all of Apple’s future sales. Last year, Apple made $235 billion in revenue last year.  It is worth noting that Ross’s patent was never actually approved, given that he failed to pay the appropriate fees, and the application was declared abandoned in 1995. Nonetheless, he claims Apple stole his idea when designing the iPhone and subsequent devices.

Only time will tell if the lawsuit against Apple will be a success, but with a lawsuit against Microsoft resulting in a win, it seems that the money and power of large corporations don’t always mean they can’t be successfully challenged.

 

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