During patent litigation with Burst.com, who were claiming a share of Apple’s iPod profits, Apple flew Kramer to the US and paid him to give evidence about his 1979 invention, showing that Burst.com’s claims were flawed.
Kramer patented the invention worldwide but couldn’t afford to pay the annual fees to keep it registered.
He said “I can’t even bring myself to buy an iPod for myself. Apple did give me one but it broke down after eight months.”
Without a valid patent, he can’t claim any royalties from Apple, whose sales of 100 iPods per minute turned around the fortunes of the company.
If you are an inventor, keep your intellectual property registered, otherwise you have nothing.
And learn how to keep your investors happy, they’re critical to your success.