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Did Sarah Jessica Parker really steal the idea for the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone, and sell them to Apple?

One Franz A. Wakefield has supposedly filed a lawsuit claiming that, in 1989, he made a deal with Sarah Jessica Parker to commercialize what became the iPod, iTunes, and iPhone, but she stole his secrets and sold them to Steve Jobs.

According to a report, Mr. Wakefield is now demanding from Apple the 2% royalty he claims he agreed to with Ms. Parker.

[UPDATE: The complaint can be downloaded via RECAP; it’s worth reading.]

Evidently this is not Mr. Wakefield’s first lawsuit alleging misappropriation of his intellectual property — he previously (and unsuccessfully) sued his employer Cordis Corporation, and separately, Walt Disney Co..

The Democrats in Congress who want to enact legislation overruling the Supreme Court’s 2008 Iqbal holding should think about cases like this — it’s an edge case of (in the Court’s words) “a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions” seeking to “unlock the doors of discovery,” that is, seeking to be able to force the defendant to produce documents, provide witnesses for depositions, etc.

EDIT 2021-09-22: I happened to run across this posting and wondered what happened; apparently Mr. Wakefield was declared a “vexatious litigant” and barred from filing lawsuits pro se (without a lawyer) for ten years.

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