Who owns the “Woz?"
Steve Wozniak has been served with a $1 million copyright infringement suit over a programming boot camp that bears his name.
In 2017, Wozniak launched Woz U, a series of courses that taught students how to code. The school was less MIT and more Trump University after reports of sub-par materials, including outdated, pre-recorded lectures, courses with unqualified instructors, and typos in course materials that made it impossible to code. A report in Apple Insider found that one course didn't even have a teacher.
But according to Ralph Reilly, a Connecticut business professor, this wasn't the Apple co-founder's first attempt to flex Woz-branded muscle to promote a tech school.
A report from Insider says Reilly claims that Wozniak agreed to endorse the "Woz Institute of Technology'' back in September 2010. And Reilly has the receipts, including emails with Wozniak and an on-camera handshake.
Reilly's lawsuit calls for at least $1 million in damages for stealing the idea. Reilly provided a signed contract in which Wozniak signed off on an online Connecticut school using his name. Wozniak didn't dispute the signature, but doesn’t recall signing the document.
Reilly launched a Woz Institute of Technology website mockup in 2013, but was promptly told to take it down and stop reaching out to Wozniak. However, Reilly's copyright protection for the website serves as the basis of the lawsuit over IP theft and copyright infringement.
When Reilly emailed Wozniak with his concerns, the engineer wrote, "I doubt it would have happened without your initial idea!”
A judge previously dismissed a breach of contract lawsuit that Reilly brought against Wozniak. Wozniak has a net worth north of $100 million.