The Trade Secrets of Insanity: Guy Claims Sarah Jessica Parker Stole iPod Trade Secrets From Him and Then Transferred Them to Apple
Not all trade secrets lawsuits are alike. The one we're going to tell you about here is like no other we've reviewed.
Seems Franz Wakefield thinks he got screwed. He claims he invented the iPod in 1983, but had the design stolen from him by "Sex in the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, who then sold it to Steve Jobs in a terribly concerning progression of corporate espionage.
Here's how the scheme allegedly worked: In 1989, the suit alleges, Wakefield won first place in a District Arts Competition and was honored by U.S. Congressman William Lehman and movie stars Parker and Robert Downey Jr. A self-described "trade secret and copyright owner," Wakefield, of Miami, Fla., is president and chief product design engineer with COOLTvNETWORK.com. In meeting these people, Wakefield alleges he was asked by the congressman to disclose his "trade secrets" to the FBI, including the concept of the iPod, iTunes, and the iPhone, the last of which he allegedly specifically named nearly 20 years prior to its debut.
The suit claims that Wakefield also developed a friendship with Parker and "made a trade secret deal" with her to commercialize the iPod classic, nano, mini, shuffle, video, touch and photo, as well as iTunes and the iPhone. The supposed agreement would have granted Parker 2 percent of gross revenues from the products. Wakefield said he asked the FBI to watch over him to ensure the security of his inventions and deal with Parker.
Per his "deal" with Parker, Wakefield claims the actress agreed to meet with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to present his concepts, including the sale of songs via iTunes at $0.99.
In one of the complaint's apparently honest admissions, Wakefield claims he attempted to contact Parker in 2006, only to be told by her attorney that she has no recollection of any conversations regarding the iPod.
So what does Wakefield want? In a letter to Steve Jobs, he demanded: “I… seek legal recourse for the immediate cease and desist from the manufacture, marketing, and sale of all the iPOD, iTunes, and Iphone lines; along with pursuing damages from the products sold to date, unjust enrichment caused by the theft, enforcement of the agreed 2% gross revenues on all sales, and any other applicable damages or compensation.”
We may not keep an eye on this one for you.