Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is being sued for copyright infringement over his “Woz U” programming boot camp. The lawsuit alleges that “Woz” stole the idea following a discussion about a tech school bearing his name years before Won U debuted.
Connecticut business professor Ralph Reilly is suing Wozniak over an alleged failed attempt to set up a similar “tech university” dating back to 2011. Court filings for the lawsuit, reported by Gizmodo and Business Insider, indicate that Reilly seeking at least $1 million in damages from Wozniak.
The lawsuit will take place in Arizona across three days from June 7. Wozniak has been called to testify in court.
Steve Wozniak launched “Woz U” in 2017. The programming boot camp taught students how to code. The company received early criticism from students who said the quality of courses was less than optimal.
Reilly claims Wozniak agreed to create the tech university, a claim that is allegedly proven thanks to an on-camera handshake by the two men in 2011. The two men had apparently corresponded by email from September 2010.
Reilly claims he asked Wozniak to endorse the launch of the “Woz Institute of Technology,” which Wozniak allegedly agreed to via email. Reilly also claims he provided Wozniak with a contract to grant an online school in Connecticut the use of the Wozniak name and the “Woz School of Technology.”
Wozniak told the court in a deposition that while he didn’t remember signing the document, but did not dispute the signature on the document.
However, when Reilly launched a mock website for the Woz Institute of Technology, he says Wozniak’s manager Ken Hardesty told Reilly to take the site down and stop contacting Wozniak directly.
Once “Woz U” was launched, Reilly asked for partial ownership of the project and received no reply> That is when Reilly sued for IP theft and copyright infringement.
Reilly secured copyright protection of the website, which is the basis for part of the copyright lawsuit against Wozniak.
For his part, Wozniak and his team of lawyers say a deal had not been reached, and that the handshake was merely one of the many photo-ops Wozniak experiences with fans. Wozniak says he is hands-off when it comes to his own business affairs, which are instead handled by his team.