Turning Lawyer Life Into Home Life

As attorneys, it is often difficult to explain to young children what we do for a living. I have two children, ages 7 and 4, who have no conception of what I do on a daily basis. They know that I go to work, that I have an office, and that my job title is that of a “lawyer.”  But, that is about it. There is just no way to explain lawyer life to a small child that doesn’t leave him/her looking completely bored. Being a lawyer can just never be as exciting to a child as a firefighter, a teacher, a dump truck driver, or an Avenger. Or can it?

Recently, my 4-year old son came into my bedroom with my 7-year old daughter trailing not far behind. My son told me that his sister hit him on the back, and, of course, my daughter denied the allegations, stating that it was an accident. In turn, my son denied that the conduct was anything but intentional. In trying to siphon through the dispute, it dawned on me that I had the perfect opportunity to show my kids what a lawyer does. We decided to have a trial.

Before doing so, we conducted a “pretrial conference” with myself presiding as judge. I explained to my son that he had the burden of proof as he was accusing my daughter of battery, an intentional tort. As such, he would need to prove that his sister intended to commit the act, that there was contact, and that the contact caused him harm. We then discussed evidence and the different means my son could use to prove his case. In turn, I explained to my daughter that she would have the opportunity to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses and to put up her own case if she chose to do so. It appearing that they understood the procedure, I set the case for trial 10 minutes after our pretrial conference (we have a rocket docket in our house).

When the trial began, the parties decided to waive opening statements as we were proceeding non-jury and the judge had already been thoroughly briefed on the case. My son, appearing pro se, called himself as his first witness. He was very direct in his testimony, stating emphatically that his sister hit him. Unfortunately, that was his only testimony. As such, the judge (me), exercising the powers of the bench, decided to question my son directly. Regardless of the question, my son gave the same response, “Because [my daughter] hit me.” Well, consistency does have its merit in the courtroom.

Thereafter, my daughter took her turn at cross-examination. She asked one simple question, “I didn’t hit you, did I?” Her technique lacked the sort of set-up and back the witness into a corner method I usually prefer, but, despite my son’s denial, she made her point. I guess.

My son, perhaps feeling strongly about the weight of his own testimony, decided not to call any more witnesses. I was a little disappointed because it was rumored that Optimus Prime, a potential witness to this accident if you can believe it, was slated to be the plaintiff’s star witness. Perhaps, in choosing to keep him off of the witness stand, my son knew that Optimus was susceptible to “more than meets the eye” questioning on cross-examination. But, this is only speculation.

For my daughter’s case, she, too, called herself as her sole witness. She testified that she was walking through the living room and accidentally stepped on Optimus Prime, who had been left by my son in the middle of the floor. In doing so, my daughter stumbled, fell into my son, and accidentally elbowed him in the back. After making contact with his back, my daughter apologized, but my son immediately began making his false accusations.

The testimony was very telling and really left the judge wishing he would have had the opportunity to hear Optimus’ testimony. Certainly, my son would have a plan on cross-examination. Boy, did he ever. Just as my daughter had done with him previously, my son grilled her with one question statement, “You hit me.” Her response was well thought out:  “No.  I fell into you after stepping on your toy.  You didn’t witness anything because you were facing away towards the TV watching ‘Paw Patrol.'” No more questions.

Thereafter, I gave my son the opportunity to call any rebuttal witness (still hoping to hear from Optimus), but he declined. Each party then had the opportunity for closing arguments which consisted of a mere recitation of their own testimony. When the arguments were completed, perhaps because he was over-confident or because he simply no longer cared about the outcome, my son took the unprecedented approach of leaving the courtroom. In any event, the decision was clear. In considering all of the evidence before me, I found that the plaintiff did not carry his burden of proof and, thus, I found in favor of my daughter.

The result is still pending post-trial motions.

While I am not certain the trial necessarily had the desired outcome of showing my kids what I do for a living, it certainly gave our house a new means of deciding disputes and cut down on the occurrence of tattle telling.  After all, Optimus’ eyes are always open and ready to crack the next big case.

Woman Receives $52,500 Arbitration Award in Coffee Suit

According to reports, a New York woman has been awarded $52,500 through arbitration after being burned by a cup of coffee purchased from a Wendy’s in Staten Island. The incident occurred in 2012 when the woman and her daughter went to the Wendy’s drive-thru to purchase some food and a cup of coffee. The daughter, who was driving the car, was handed the cup of coffee from the Wendy’s employee. While the testimony on the exact manner was apparently inconsistent, the daughter then passed the cup to her mother who was sitting in the passenger’s seat. It appears the lid from the coffee cup may have not been properly secured during the pass. As such, coffee spilled from the cup onto the woman’s left hand and left knee. Thereafter, the woman filed suit Rawson Food Services, a New Jersey based Wendy’s franchisee, Princeton Food Services, and Wendy’s International alleging that she was burned because the coffee was both “excessively hot” and “unsafely or improperly packaged.”

Over the years, we here at Abnormal Use have taken interest in hot coffee litigation. Most often, hot coffee cases can be divided into two classes, those that allege burns as a result of the excessive temperature of the coffee and those that allege injuries as a result of some conduct of the restaurant’s employees. Aside from the infamous Stella Liebeck case, the former often face the most scrutiny in the courts and among the public. The latter are often easier to digest as they don’t premise liability on serving a product on the way it is meant to be served. Rather, the latter allege the restaurant was liable because its employees did not act in the way a reasonable attorney should under the circumstances (i.e. the employee spilled coffee on a customer in the course of handing him the cup or the employee did not properly not secure the lid to the coffee cup). This particular case is interesting (but not unique) in that it alleges that the coffee was both excessively hot and that it was not properly packaged. The reports do not mention the alleged temperature of the Wendy’s coffee, nor do they state the theory on which the award was based. For the sake of hot coffee lovers around the world, let’s hope it was more so the latter than the former.

We should also note that the arbitrator assessed the damages as $75,000, but found the woman to be 30 percent at-fault. We presume that the comparative fault must have been the result of the manner in which the woman handled the coffee.

Nirvana’s Nevermind: 25 Years of Influence


As lawyers, we here at Abnormal Use can identify many things that have shaped our careers. Whether it be a law professor, a client, or a trial, the way we practice law is a product of our past experiences. While many of those past events are legal in nature, life experiences also play a critical role. Contrary to the punchlines of many legal jokes, we are humans first and foremost, and we were molded as individuals long before we embarked on our legal odyssey.

Looking back at my formative years, September 24, 1991 may be the date that shaped me as a person more so than any other (apart from my marriage and the birth of my children, of course). On that date, 25 years ago this past Saturday, Nirvana released its second studio album, Nevermind. The album rescued rock music from its most mundane slump in its history and brought alternative rock to the mainstream. Aside from its revolutionary effect on music, the album’s ramifications on a generation of youth is its greatest achievement.

Personally, I was a mere 10 years old when Nevermind was released; I was just beginning to develop my own music preferences. I had just acquired DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s Homebase, thinking it would go perfectly with the only other album in my collection, MC Hammer’s Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em. While my choice in music may seem laughable today, at the time, it was not. All the “cool” kids were listening to terrible rap music, so I would, too. I was the well-behaved quiet kid who did well in school and desperately aimed to fit in.  So I bought those albums and listened to them alone in my room after school, memorizing the lyrics so I could be in the conversation with the cool kids.

The release of Nevermind, however, brought an end to that vicious cycle.

One afternoon, I was flipping through the channels on the television and came across the music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana’s first single from Nevermind. Admittedly, I could not understand a single lyric from the song, but somehow, it spoke to me. Kurt Cobain’s muffled screaming over the sounds of the guitar and drums quenched my musical thirst far more than the beats of ’90’s rap ever had before. I heard this enchanting sound and learned that it was coming from guys who clearly weren’t trying to “fit in” with the times. There was no glam. Just guys wearing ratty clothes with unkempt hair playing music in a dusty old gymnasium. For me, that redefined what I thought was cool.

Shortly thereafter, I got my hands on Nevermind and listened to it on a continuous loop. While I didn’t grasp the full meaning of many of the lyrics at the age of 10, it didn’t matter. Nirvana was my music. My sound. My way of looking at the world. For whatever reason, listening to Nirvana and watching the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the affirmation I needed that I didn’t have to follow suit with the other kids (however, they, too, eventually ditched “U Can’t Touch This” in favor of the Seattle grunge scene). I didn’t try to emulate Nirvana. I didn’t have to wear ratty clothes and not comb my hair. I was still the well-behaved kid who got good grades, but I was me – not somebody else. Nirvana taught me that is okay.

Twenty-five years later, I still take with me those life lessons I derived from my first exposure to that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video. I have my own style. My own way of doing things. My own way of practicing law. And, I am happy with that.

Thanks, Nirvana.


1-Star Review Yelp Lawsuit Leaves Its Mark

Several months ago, we here at Abnormal Use wrote about a lawsuit filed by Prestigious Pets, a Texas pet sitting company, against a dissatisfied customer over a 1-star Yelp review. That lawsuit was filed in a Texas small claims court with the company seeking damages of around $6,700 for the customers’ violations of a non-disparagement agreement. At the time, we wrote about the negative repercussions the suit had on the company’s Yelp reviews with its overall rating dropping from a 4.5 to a 3 once the news broke.Apparently, $6,700 no longer seemed like enough damages. In turn, Prestigious Pets dismissed their suit and re-filed in district court, now seeking $1 million in damages. Now, that suit has also been dismissed, this time at the hands of the court.

According to a report from Consumerist, the defendants sought to dismiss the case on the grounds that it is a frivolous SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). Specifically, the defendants relied on the Texas Citizens Participation Act which permits defendants in cases involving free speech to seek a dismissal within 60 days of service. Under the Act, when a moving party establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the action is based on, relates to, or is in response to a party’s exercise of the right of free speech, the case shall be dismissed unless the plaintiff can establish by clear and convincing evidence a prima facie case for each element of the claim in question. Apparently, Prestigious Pets could not make such a showing and the case was dismissed via a one page, nondescript order. With the dismissal, the company is responsible for the defendants’ legal fees per the terms of the Act.

It may be too early to tell what, if any, effects this suit and Texas media fiasco may have on Prestigious Pets. As mentioned, when we first wrote about this story, the company’s Yelp rating had taken a huge nosedive with negative reviewers voicing frustration with the lawsuit. Today, many of those reviews appear to have been removed from Prestigious Pets’ Yelp page thereby bringing its rating back up to a cozy 4.5. However, if you think the company could just erase the negative reviews and move on, think again. Now, its page is adorned with this:


Not exactly the scarlet letter any company wants to bear.

Exchanging The Machete for a Copyright: The New Friday the 13th Lawsuit

Like their antagonists, the slasher films of the 1980’s never die. By our count, there have been eleven renditions of Friday the 13th, ten of Halloween, and eight of Nightmare of Elm Street. Add in the Freddy v. Jason cross-over and that is a whole lot of slasher gore. Good or bad, they just keep coming back as if nothing can stand in their way. Not bad reviews. Not transporting the evil 445 years into the future. And not even silly Rob Zombie remakes. It seems like nothing can stop them. Up until this point, however, Freddy, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers have never stared into the face of a copyright lawsuit.

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, a lawsuit has been filed in Connecticut questioning who has the rights to license new film versions of Friday the 13th. Here’s the story: Victor Miller wrote the script for the original film back in 1979 and created the characters in some of the sequels. According to the complaint, Miller wrote the script as a “work-for-hire” employee of the Manning Company at the request of Sean Cunningham, its general partner. Thereafter, Georgetown Productions financed the production of the film in exchange for an assignment of the Manny Company’s rights to the screenplay, including any and all copyrights therein.  Now, some 36 years later, Miller is attempting to terminate the grant of rights and reclaim ownership.

To hedge off Miller’s attempts, Plaintiffs Horror, Inc., a successor entity of Georgetown, and the Manny Company, filed suit against Miller, alleging that because the screenplay was written as a “work for hire,” he does not have the right to terminate Horror’s copyright interests under Section 203(a) of the United States Copyright Act. In addition to seeking a declaration of the parties’ respective rights, Horror and the Manny Company seek a determination that Miller has materially breached the Employment Agreement, slandered Horror’s title in “Friday the 13th”, and engaged in unfair trade practices.

We here at Abnormal Use find this suit intriguing, not because of the legal copyright issues, but because of the history behind the making of the Friday the 13th franchise. Miller and Cunningham began working together in 1976. Prior to Friday the 13th, Miller wrote and Cunningham produced family friendly classics such as Here Come the Tigers and Manny’s Orphans. We understand if you have never heard of them. Miller and Cunningham got into the horror genre only after witnessing the huge success of Halloween in 1979. Wanting to capitalize on that success, Cunningham asked Miller to write what is essentially a copycat film placed in a different setting (the stories of Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers took much different paths in the sequels). While we do not know who reaped the most benefits, we assume they both earned a nice check over the years. With this background, we find it silly that Miller and Cunningham are now wanting to fight over the rights to this “novel” idea all of these years later.

Regardless of the outcome, we have not seen the last of Jason Voorhees. A little copyright dispute is nothing for Camp Crystal Lake’s indestructible, machete-wielding mass murderer.

Hot Coffee Karma: The Day Was Bound To Happen

I have written about the hot coffee litigation for years. So much so that I suspected that one day I, too, would face my own hot coffee incident. After all, there is only so many times one can say, “Coffee is meant to be served hot and producers shouldn’t be held liable for serving it that way,” before the fates intervened. Karma works that way.  As I anticipated, that day finally came.

Recently, I had an out-of-town deposition that required me to leave my house long before nature intended humans to wake. After the lengthy deposition concluded, I began my sojourn home and thought it wise to acquire a cup of coffee. Thankfully, I found a not-to-be-named establishment selling coffee near the deposition location. I purchased a cup at the drive-thru and proceeded towards the exit to make my way to the interstate. Unfortunately, fate had other plans.

Turning left out of a parking lot with a cup of hot coffee in your right hand is not the best idea. Not able to coordinate the counterclockwise turning of the steering wheel with the proper handling of hot liquid, I squeezed the cup a bit excessively and dropped it. The lid dislodged, and piping hot coffee poured into my lap. And, let me be the first to tell you, it was hot. Really hot. Just how I like to drink it, but not so much how I want it soaking my nether regions. Apparently, karma burns.

Thankfully, I learned a thing or two about hot coffee during my studies (and knew to exercise a bit of common sense). I jumped out of the car (stopping first, of course) and pulled my pants away from my legs rather than allowing the hot coffee to cling to my skin. Thereafter, I engaged in a bit of a “shimmy” typically only acceptable on the dance floor of a wedding reception. In not so scientific terms, the movement kept the clothing fabric separated from the skin and allowed the coffee spill to air dry (or something like that). After several minutes of the “shimmy,” the worst passed. I wiped up the coffee lingering in my car seat with a towel, and  I was out of harm’s way.

While karma may have won the moment, the spill wasn’t the epiphany it may have desired. Rather than learn the horrors of hot coffee, I went right back to the drive-thru and ordered a second cup. I didn’t tell the establishment to lower the temperature. I didn’t call the news to report the hot coffee spill. I didn’t threaten to sue. Nope. Not me. I put that coffee right to my lips and enjoyed that first sip of piping hot nectar just like I always do.

You know why?

Coffee is meant to be served hot and producers shouldn’t be held liable for serving it that way.


Suicide Squad Lawsuit In The Works Over Lack Of Joker Screen Time

Last weekend’s Suicide Squad premiere was a huge box office success. In spite of dismal critical reviews, the film raked in receipts in excess of $135 million. Apparently, those moviegoers by-and-large didn’t share the same opinions as the critics – the film has netted a 71 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.  But don’t count Reddit user BlackPanther2016 (“BP”) as one of those posting favorable reviews. He was so disappointed in the film that he has threatened to sue Warner Brothers and DC Comics. Here we go.

According to an Independent report, BP drove over 300 miles from Scotland to London to see the film, and upon seeing it, he was none too pleased with the fruits of his pilgrimage. After demanding a refund from the theater and earning only laughter from its owners, BP claims to be voicing his dissatisfaction in another forum by filing a lawsuit on August 11 against the studio. His legal grounds? BP takes issue with Joker scenes shown in the movie trailers that did not make their way into the film, an act BP claims amounts to “unjust false advertising.”

While we don’t know the allegations that will be contained in this much anticipated complaint, if it is in fact filed, we can only hope that they are somewhat similar to this Reddit user’s epic rant. BP offered the following thoughts on the grave injustice he experienced:

Movie trailers are like food menus, they give you a preview of what you’re gonna get. You look at a McDonald’s menu and you choose to get your favourite burger, presented in a nice picture with pickles, chicken, mild cheese (your favourite, in fact that’s the only reason you’re getting this burger, because you love mild cheese). You use your hard-worked money to pay for this burger, you get the burger, only to find out that this isn’t the burger you ordered. Yes it has pickles and chicken but it doesn’t have mild cheese, it has regular cheese.

Suicide Squad trailers showcased several specific Joker scenes that I had to pay for the whole movie just so that I can go watch those specific scenes that Warner Bros/DC Comics had advertised in their trailers and TV spots. These scenes are: when Joker banged his head on his car window, when Joker says ‘“Let me show you my toys’, when Joker punches the roof of his car, when Joker drops a bomb with his face all messed up and says, ‘Bye bye!’ None of these scenes were in the movie.

I drove 300 miles to London to go watch these specific scenes they had explicitly advertised in their TV ads…and they didn’t show them to me. Adding to this, they were also two specific Katana scenes they advertised that were also the reason I wanted to go watch the movie. These scenes were: Katana’s eyes going black, and a slow motion shot of her and her sword taking souls in a smoky kind of style. These scenes were advertised several times in the first trailer and many TV ads but they didn’t show it to me in the movie. I wasted a lot of money paying and travelling to go watch this movie because of these specific scenes they had advertised to me and all of us saying, ‘Hey, check out our preview! This will all be in our movie, come watch it on the 5th!’ All lies.

BP goes on to say that he is taking matters to court so he can obtain his refund as well as compensation for his fuel costs and the trauma of being embarrassed by people laughing at him for wanting his refund. We completely understand how BP feels. We, too, anticipated much more Joker in the film based on the trailers, and we too were disappointed by his lack of screen time. We also understand that passion of die hard comic fans. (However, we can’t imagine driving 300 miles to meet the actual Joker much less see him in a blockbuster film). Nonetheless, we can’t imagine filing suit over our dissatisfaction with a movie. We understand cut scenes in a trailer can, in some respects, be considered false or deceptive, but what trailer isn’t misleading on some level? Even when all of the trailer scenes make into the final product, we recall countless examples of trailers making a film look like something it is not. Whether it is showing the only “good” scenes or making an otherwise boring drama look like an action film, a trailer’s very purpose is to trick you into seeing the film.

Every movie has scenes that get cut, and often, those cut scenes find their way into the trailers. Unfortunately for BP, he was one of those super fans that actually noticed. At least for BP’s sake, the Joker made his way into the film albeit not as much as he would like. While we understand how he feels, we just can’t seem to quantify his damages.

Tattoos: Who Really Owns Them?

Last year, Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of 2K Sports, was sued in a New York federal court for the unauthorized reproduction of tattoo designs featured on the bodies of players in the popular NBA 2K video game series. The plaintiff, Solid Oak Sketches, alleged that it owned copyrights on several tattoo designs on the bodies of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan, and Eric Bledsoe, and, in an era increasing video game realism, 2K infringed on its rights in creating the players’ likeness. Solid Oak sought damages in excess of $1 million.

According to reports, 2k recently scored the dismissal of a huge chunk of the plaintiff’s claims. Judge Laura Taylor Swain dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for statutory damages under U.S. Copyright law on the grounds that the first of the series of infringements occurred before the works in question were registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The tattoo designs were apparently registered in 2015, some two years after the release of NBA 2K14. In lieu of statutory damages, the plaintiff can still seek actual damages related to lost income for the tattoos’ appearances.

While the ruling is significant in terms of damages (the plaintiff sought up to $150,000 per infringement), 2K was saved by the timing limitations of copyright law. The bigger legal issue still remains – who really owns a tattoo after it has, in fact, been tattooed onto a body? As fans of tattoos, we recognize that a tattoo is indeed a piece of art. The tattoo artist is an “artist” and the human body is his/her “canvas.” On the other hand, a tattoo differs from a traditional piece of art in one key area. The tattoo is placed onto a canvas that itself has legal rights. When a traditional artist creates a painting, he owns the canvas on which his design comes to life (until it is sold). Obviously, that is not the case with tattoos. While money is exchanged for the design and work, the tattoo artist never owns the human canvas.

In any event, we respect the tattoo artist’s right not to have his work ripped off. We could certainly argue that a tattoo artist should never replicate another artist’s work on an ethical, if not legal, basis. But, this is not the situation in the 2K case. 2K is creating a player’s likeness which necessarily includes tattoos, hairstyles, eyes, height, weight, et cetera. 2K is not seeking to make a profit off of the tattoos themselves any more than Nike is by placing an image of Lebron James on a t-shirt. The tattoos are a part of the player and necessarily come along with him.  If Solid Oak prevails, conceivably every image of Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, et cetera on a t-shirt, poster, or basketball card is a case of copyright infringement.

The truth is that the tattoo designs are out in the public domain. Such is the case when one places a visible tattoo on a public figure whose career necessitates that his arms be exposed. Certainly, Solid Oak knew that its designs where going to be all over when it chose to tattoo the most popular basketball player on the planet.

Snapchat Now Accused of Stealing Faces

Social media giant Snapchat just can’t seem to keep itself out of the courtroom in recent months. Back in April, Snapchat was sued over a distracted driving accident. Earlier in July, the company was sued over allegedly offensive content surfacing on the app. Now, Snapchat is being sued for stealing people’s faces. That’s right, stealing faces.

So how can social media app can steal someone’s face? Well, it hasn’t joined the cult of the Many-Faced God if that is what you are thinking.In reality, it is a little more complicated. According to a report from NBC Chicago, two Illinois men have filed a class-action suit in California alleging that Snapchat captures users’ facial data without their consent in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Specifically, the suit targets Snapchat’s Lenses technology, an object recognition feature contained the app that allows users to swap faces or add quirky elements to their snapshot.

The biometric law at issue was introduced back in 2008 in response to certain gas stations and grocery stores testing the use of fingerprinting to make financial transactions. The American Civil Liberties Union took issue with the practice and spearheaded the passage of the law in an effort to prevent biometric identifiers getting into the hands of the wrong people.

For the same reason, the ACLU has been eyeballing Snapchat. According to ACLU legislative director Mary Dixon:

What we were concerned about is how [facial recognition technology] could be acquired and used, even in ways we didn’t know about . . . While you can, with great difficulty, change your Social Security number, you cannot change your unique biological identifier.

We here at Abnormal Use can certainly appreciate the right to privacy. Nonetheless, we think the fear of the plaintiffs and the ACLU are unfounded. The Lenses technology apparently does not capture and create a database of faces. Rather, it simply figures out whether an object is a face and, if so, where each facial feature is located. For Snapchat users, this is the technology that lets the app know where to put the dog nose, the heart eyes, and the rainbow tongue. In other words, it is the all the good in Snapchat.

New Hero Armed with 24-Year Old Drawing Emerges In Fight Against Apple

During the last few years, Apple has been no stranger to patent litigation over the design of its smartphones and tablets. In fact, to many of us, it seems as if the smartphone patent wars may extend into an era where no one has ever heard of an iPhone. While Apple’s feud with Samsung garners all the media attention, we here at Abnormal Use are here to tell you that a new opponent has entered the arena.

That opponent is Florida resident, Thomas S. Ross. Or, as we like to refer to him as “David” (or “Jon Snow” or “Frodo” or any other hero facing seemingly insurmountable odds). If you have never heard of Ross, you will.  According to reports, Ross filed suit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod are a rip off of his idea.  That idea being Ross’ 1992 hand-drawn “Electronic Reading Device” (depicted below).


Ross alleges that he was the “first to file a device so designed and aggregated” nearly 15 years before the introduction of the iPhone. The gadget, imagined by Ross in 1992, possessed the capability for mixed media-browsing and communications and featured a touch-screen display, a disk drive, a modem and solar panels to power up the device.  s a result of Apple’s alleged patent thievery, Ross allegedly has experienced “great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money.” He will, however, settle for $10 billion in damages plus 1.5 percent of upcoming iPhone sales.

To be fair to Ross, he did, in fact, apply for a utility patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the drawings of his gadget back in November 1992. However, the application was declared abandoned in April 1995, for failure to pay application fees. Ross also submitted a copyright application with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2014. While we have serious doubts Ross will ever see anything close to those financial demands contained in his lawsuit, we hope this goes well for him. We still have a picture of a flying car we drew after the release of Back to the Future II in 1989 that we would love to cash-in on in the future.