Apple sued by ex-engineer about Find My iPhone patent credit, inventory withdrawal after being fired

A former Apple technician accuses the iPhone producer for failing to include his name as the inventor of five patent applications filed by the company, including the ideas behind the "Find My iPhone" and Apple's Passbook technology.

Darren Eastman wants to be recognized as the inventor of five patent applications from Apple, according to filings with the American district court in the northern district of California. The complaint was filed on Thursday and the complaint is about how Eastman's ideas were accepted and then used by Apple in its products and deposits, but without its credit.

A patent application for electronic ticket sales is claimed to have been derived from the technology that Eastman developed before it came to Apple in 2006 and was declared in an Intellectual Property Agreement that it had signed with the company the previous year. In February 2006, Eastman told former CEO Steve Jobs about the concept of ticketing. Jobs replied that it was "insanely good" and could potentially break a Ticketmaster monopoly.

For the patent application with Find My iPhone, Eastman claims that he lost his original iPhone in 2008, which inspired him to come up with a device location system. Eastman documented it in the internal Bug-tracking system of Apple's Radar in October 2008 and reportedly began to tell others in the company about his idea.

A first attempt to get support from the director of iTunes failed at the time, suggesting that customers would "hate such a function and feel that Apple was spying on them." In 2009 he approached VP of iCloud Eddy Cue about the concept, realizing that it was necessary to use the infrastructure of Apple to make it work, and after having approached favorable feedback, then VP for iOS Scott Forstall.

Find my iPhone debuted in June 2010.

Concerned about patent protection for the technology, Eastman asked Forstall whether it should be sought, and then to Apple counsel Richard von Wohld, but did not receive a satisfactory answer. In 2012 and 2013, Apple filed four patents in the area of ​​utilities with regard to the function, with the name of Eastman not included in the list of inventors.

The process was filed "pro se", indicating that Eastman is representing himself. "I re-open myself because my lawyer has had a stroke and has been in assisted life for a while," Eastman told the report. "I do not know if he will recover to his former level of competence and I did not have any money after I stopped working in 2014."

Eastman seeks recognition in each of the five patent applications, $ 326,400 in damages, $ 32,640 in interest, $ 5,000 in lawyer fees and 735 Apple shares that he believes have been unjustly deprived of him.

After Eastman became a member in 2006, he was dismissed on 26 September 2014 due to claims of unprofessional and inappropriate communication. The problem would be due to attempts to ask his manager to do his job & # 39; to integrate a critical solution for the Disk Utility in Yosemite before it is released.

It is claimed that Apple will dismiss many employees in September for the new fiscal year in order to avoid granting compensation for the current annual work, including the unconditionality of shares. It is said that Eastman would receive 735 post-tax shares deposited on a securities account on October 15, 2014, but subsequently canceled.

The filing also takes time to complain about changes in management style since the death of Jobs and the transition to current CEO Tim Cook, where Eastman claims that Apple's quality standards have been reduced.

"Many talented employees who have given a part of their lives to Apple are now regularly disciplined and terminated for reporting problems they thought would be during Mr. Jobs' tenure," the complaint said. "Boyfriendly politics and a devoted effort to ignore quality problems in current and future products became the main projects to perpetuate the goal of ignoring the law and minimizing taxes."

Eastman continues: "The main goal of the executive team is to eliminate tax liability and poor PR spread across Apple." Apple has no social responsibility since the death of Jobs. "There is no justification, with attempts to do the right thing for quick retribution."

In the case of Eastman, he witnessed the resignation of his former manager in 2014 for criticizing a project that the company should have failed twice, with the manager's daughter being fired shortly afterwards for reporting toxic fungi in one Apple building.

Eastman also claims that in 2009 he was denied a request to manage a team with whom he had worked for four years, in which the manager was hired to have no HBO education or experience in management or programming. An attempt to get under a different manager in 2013 was refused, with further clashes between the two leading to a final written warning against Eastman for rude behavior, despite the apparent lack of first or second warnings.

After developing various handicaps at Apple, Eastman went on vacation in 2013 to recover from neurosurgery. Eastman returned to work eight months later, four months earlier than expected, and claims to have experienced retaliation, discrimination and unlawful termination of the company.

A statement from Eastman The register adds the most important lesson Jobs has learned that Apple's "greatest strength has always been its employees – many of whom make big sacrifices for Apple and deserve the same ethical treatment as if they were working for another company."

AppleInsider has contacted Apple for comment on the lawsuit.

© Appleinsider

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