Apple Inc. has announced the death of a software programmer and former co-founder who created the company’s programmable music boxes, but the company has not said how he died.
The company did not immediately comment on the news.
Apple Inc. and former Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were once accused of patent trolling after they created a system to automate and record music in their homes in the early 1990s.
In 1999, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple Inc.’s trademark for “music record player”, which it has since used for more than 1,000 patents, most of which have been abandoned.
Wozniack, who left Apple in 2005, co-founded Hypertech with his son in the 1990s and led the development of a programmable audio box that was eventually sold to Sony Corp.
Wizniack was charged in 2001 with hacking into computers, causing thousands of dollars in damage and filing false patent applications, and in 2007 was convicted of computer fraud and wire fraud.
He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Jobs, who is serving a 30-year sentence in prison for tax fraud, was acquitted by a jury in 2015.
In an email to the Associated Press on Thursday, Woz, the company and the Woznes said they were working to establish a memorial service for the late programmer.
Apple and Woz have said Woz was the father of the company Hypertech, which became a key component in the success of the iPod and Apple TV.
The company said in a statement that Woz and his family “were forever in our hearts and we want to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Apple co-president Eddy Cue said in an email that the company was “heartbroken” about the news and would be “working with the family to offer all the support we can.”