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Apple ordered to hand over $3.3 million to Japanese inventor in click wheel patent lawsuit

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The iPod Classic may not be much longer for this world, but a Japanese inventor named Norihiko Saito has just been awarded 330 million yen (about $3.3 million) in damages after a Tokyo district court ruled today that the iconic click wheel infringes on one of his patents. Saito applied for the patent in 1998, and Apple used the click wheel for the first time in the iPod mini, released in 2004. According to Dow Jones, Saito first went to court to get an injunction against Apple for using the click wheel design in 2007, and later sued the company for 100 million yen in damages. After settlement discussions stalled, Saito raised his claim to 10 billion yen, a number based on the number of click wheel-based iPods sold.