May 19, 2006 9:12 AM PDT

Apple countersues Creative in patent dispute

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Creative sues Apple over iPod interface

May 15, 2006

Creative wants to make Apple pay

December 9, 2005
Faced with a patent infringement suit against the iPod and iPod Nano, Apple Computer countered this week with its own complaint against Creative Labs, which holds a distant second place in the personal media player market.

The suit was initiated in a Wisconsin federal court on May 15, the same day that the Singapore-based electronics maker said it had sued Apple in U.S. District Court in California, seeking an injunction against the iPod and damages.

In its complaint, Apple accuses the company of infringing on four of its patents related to user interfaces and icon displays for digital media players. The company is requesting monetary damages and an injunction barring continued use of its patents.

In a separate complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission filed this week, Creative is also seeking an injunction that would stop Apple from selling the iPod and iPod Nano in the United States.

Creative's complaints center on a patent describing a system for organizing music and songs used in its Zen MP3 player, which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded it last August. The company's chief executive hinted a few months later that he planned to assert the company's patents against suspected infringers and seek royalties.

Apple declined to comment on Friday. Creative did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

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injunction, patent, Creative Labs Inc., electronics company, Singapore

50 comments

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Right on...
Show Creative who's boss! They have stolen mroe than they've ever given, the looks, the feel, (of course interacting with their devices is terrible). They'll settle saying "Okay Apple, you're way cooler than us, you can still sell your iPods."
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Right on...
Show Creative who's boss! They have stolen mroe than they've ever given, the looks, the feel, (of course interacting with their devices is terrible). They'll settle saying "Okay Apple, you're way cooler than us, you can still sell your iPods."
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If Creative gave a party. . .
would anyone come? There is absolutely no possibility any court
will issue an injunction against Apple selling iPods. But, even if
such a thing were possible,, I don't think many consumers would
buy Creative MP3 players. They would just wait for the iPod to
become available again.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If Creative gave a party. . .
would anyone come? There is absolutely no possibility any court
will issue an injunction against Apple selling iPods. But, even if
such a thing were possible,, I don't think many consumers would
buy Creative MP3 players. They would just wait for the iPod to
become available again.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Rightfully So.
Apple has been involved in pioneering and evolving Hierarchical
User Interfaces for 30 years and hold numerous patents of their
own.

Creative is now, rightfully so in my opinion, locked in a dance to
the finish on this one.

Creative will emerge weaker and less "creative," Their original
suite was without merit in my view and just one more example
of the wasteful "legaleeze" that pervades our cultures.

DJO
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Haha, I love it
This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get
When you meeeessssssss with us
Posted by 199657710366057339589467585945 (18 comments )
Link Flag
Rightfully So.
Apple has been involved in pioneering and evolving Hierarchical
User Interfaces for 30 years and hold numerous patents of their
own.

Creative is now, rightfully so in my opinion, locked in a dance to
the finish on this one.

Creative will emerge weaker and less "creative," Their original
suite was without merit in my view and just one more example
of the wasteful "legaleeze" that pervades our cultures.

DJO
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Haha, I love it
This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get
When you meeeessssssss with us
Posted by 199657710366057339589467585945 (18 comments )
Link Flag
Hopefully this suit gets some mainstream media attention
So people will realize there are other MP3 players besides the Ipod out there, many of which are better.

There are lots of people out there who would buy other MP3 players if they knew they existed. The type who don't care if they fit in with the 'Abercrombie Kids' and have an Ipod like everyone else. Units from iRiver, Cowon, and Creative often have more features like FM tuners and voice recorders, more supported file formats, better audio quality (although only by a small margin that most people don't notice), and are usually cheaper (And they don't usually build in the battery so you have to pay an absurd fee or buy an extended warranty to have it replaced-Yes, that is how Apple instructs salespeople to pitch Applecare, it primarily hinges on the battery going bad...I work at a major electronics retailer and we have a full-time Apple rep in the store).

And for what it's worth, Creative does hold the more important patent, the music categorization(And rightly so, the Nomad came out well before the Ipod). It would be easier for Creative to change their players to not infringe on Apple's patents than for Apple to change the Ipod. My guess is Creative and Apple will settle for some cash going Creative's direction....a lump sum, not royalty per unit.
Posted by Kamokazi (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ahh yeaa.....
That's the same way I feel about OS X, but the fact of the matter
is that Windows sits on 95% of desktops in the same that the
iPod has the digital audio player market.

One of the reasons that people may not know that OTHER
players exists is because they don't advertise where the average
people may view them. ON TV. When was the last time you've
seen a commercial for a Creative or iRiver player? EXACTLY!!!

Don't fault Apple because the other companies aren't doing as
good a job at marketing their wares.

Also, I hear a lot of you rant on how much better the other
players are. Since when does having MORE features actually
make something BETTER. Built in FM radio, if you need that,
that's fine. Alot us don't need or even want built in FM or Voice
Recorders. It's nice, but it's not a necesity.

If you don't like the iPod, good that's you. Don't buy one. I'm not
a fan of Windows so I don't own a windows machine, but I don't
come on here and knock everyone else that does.
Posted by Musica360.com (106 comments )
Link Flag
People can buy Creative now. . .
but few have chosen to do so.

From the carping of people like you, one would think that there
are armed Steve Jobs commandos standing at the not-a-Pod
displays in big box stores preventing customers from buying
Creative and other also rans. That is not the case. Consumers
are choosing to buy iPods.

I was just over at Amazon gifting a friend an iPod. Took a
glance at the top 25 items sold in electronics. Seven of them
were iPods. One was a Zen.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
Hopefully this suit gets some mainstream media attention
So people will realize there are other MP3 players besides the Ipod out there, many of which are better.

There are lots of people out there who would buy other MP3 players if they knew they existed. The type who don't care if they fit in with the 'Abercrombie Kids' and have an Ipod like everyone else. Units from iRiver, Cowon, and Creative often have more features like FM tuners and voice recorders, more supported file formats, better audio quality (although only by a small margin that most people don't notice), and are usually cheaper (And they don't usually build in the battery so you have to pay an absurd fee or buy an extended warranty to have it replaced-Yes, that is how Apple instructs salespeople to pitch Applecare, it primarily hinges on the battery going bad...I work at a major electronics retailer and we have a full-time Apple rep in the store).

And for what it's worth, Creative does hold the more important patent, the music categorization(And rightly so, the Nomad came out well before the Ipod). It would be easier for Creative to change their players to not infringe on Apple's patents than for Apple to change the Ipod. My guess is Creative and Apple will settle for some cash going Creative's direction....a lump sum, not royalty per unit.
Posted by Kamokazi (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ahh yeaa.....
That's the same way I feel about OS X, but the fact of the matter
is that Windows sits on 95% of desktops in the same that the
iPod has the digital audio player market.

One of the reasons that people may not know that OTHER
players exists is because they don't advertise where the average
people may view them. ON TV. When was the last time you've
seen a commercial for a Creative or iRiver player? EXACTLY!!!

Don't fault Apple because the other companies aren't doing as
good a job at marketing their wares.

Also, I hear a lot of you rant on how much better the other
players are. Since when does having MORE features actually
make something BETTER. Built in FM radio, if you need that,
that's fine. Alot us don't need or even want built in FM or Voice
Recorders. It's nice, but it's not a necesity.

If you don't like the iPod, good that's you. Don't buy one. I'm not
a fan of Windows so I don't own a windows machine, but I don't
come on here and knock everyone else that does.
Posted by Musica360.com (106 comments )
Link Flag
People can buy Creative now. . .
but few have chosen to do so.

From the carping of people like you, one would think that there
are armed Steve Jobs commandos standing at the not-a-Pod
displays in big box stores preventing customers from buying
Creative and other also rans. That is not the case. Consumers
are choosing to buy iPods.

I was just over at Amazon gifting a friend an iPod. Took a
glance at the top 25 items sold in electronics. Seven of them
were iPods. One was a Zen.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
Bye Bye Creative
That loser company has been on the downslope for years. Given Apple's market cap, they could buy them and shut them up for good.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple won't have to..
Apple won't have to buy them to shut them up... Creative will
waste precious marketing money trying to fight this court case
instead of marketing their products....
Posted by Musica360.com (106 comments )
Link Flag
That's not good for competition though...
Though the market share of Creative Labs in portable music players is much below that of Apple, they are still number 2. They have come out with some awsome products recently. Though I don't think it's gonna happen, but if Apple buys Creative, there would be fewer choices, which though good for the company, is not good for the consumers.
Posted by ggupta7 (137 comments )
Link Flag
Bye Bye Creative
That loser company has been on the downslope for years. Given Apple's market cap, they could buy them and shut them up for good.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple won't have to..
Apple won't have to buy them to shut them up... Creative will
waste precious marketing money trying to fight this court case
instead of marketing their products....
Posted by Musica360.com (106 comments )
Link Flag
That's not good for competition though...
Though the market share of Creative Labs in portable music players is much below that of Apple, they are still number 2. They have come out with some awsome products recently. Though I don't think it's gonna happen, but if Apple buys Creative, there would be fewer choices, which though good for the company, is not good for the consumers.
Posted by ggupta7 (137 comments )
Link Flag
It's the Karma Police!
This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get
When you meeeeeeeeeessss with us
Posted by 199657710366057339589467585945 (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's the Karma Police!
This is what you get
This is what you get
This is what you get
When you meeeeeeeeeessss with us
Posted by 199657710366057339589467585945 (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
dont agree with either
One on hand, creative launches a silly infringement suit. Then apple, cycle it round.

All I know is that both parties products are lame. Apple audio/build quality sucks, as does its software. BOY anyone who can say it's 'good code' clearly needs a reality check.

Creative's player while being more open, has serious reliability issues, coupled with imitation of apple designs.

They are both going to suffer, when the mobile phone hits 4Gb+. I and Millions of others carry it everywhere. why duplicate??
Posted by Jpmayock (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Then... Why are you here?
I think Sony still sell a Cassette Walkman.
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Link Flag
dont agree with either
One on hand, creative launches a silly infringement suit. Then apple, cycle it round.

All I know is that both parties products are lame. Apple audio/build quality sucks, as does its software. BOY anyone who can say it's 'good code' clearly needs a reality check.

Creative's player while being more open, has serious reliability issues, coupled with imitation of apple designs.

They are both going to suffer, when the mobile phone hits 4Gb+. I and Millions of others carry it everywhere. why duplicate??
Posted by Jpmayock (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Then... Why are you here?
I think Sony still sell a Cassette Walkman.
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Link Flag
That's really sad
My full sympathy is with Creative. I have used a Zen Micro for over an year, and I don't think there can any better product at the given price. Planning to buy a Zen Vsion M next..
Posted by ggupta7 (137 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Talk about rip-offs
Could the Zen players look any more like iPods? It's simply a
pathetic jealous attempt to squeeze some money out of a company
clearly favored by consumers. Just about as lame as the Apple
Corps suit.
Posted by (7 comments )
Link Flag
That's really sad
My full sympathy is with Creative. I have used a Zen Micro for over an year, and I don't think there can any better product at the given price. Planning to buy a Zen Vsion M next..
Posted by ggupta7 (137 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Talk about rip-offs
Could the Zen players look any more like iPods? It's simply a
pathetic jealous attempt to squeeze some money out of a company
clearly favored by consumers. Just about as lame as the Apple
Corps suit.
Posted by (7 comments )
Link Flag
This happens all the time
I doubt either company wants to risk that the others patents are valid or an preliminary injuction. If they're smart this will end in a cross licensing deal out of court.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just listen to yourself
You blog as if Creative is on the same level as Apple. I think not. Remember Apple is a Billion dollar company.

The funds Creative has left would have been better used to focus on what they do best. Sound cards, etc.

Apple's Lawyers strategized Creative's sucker punch from the get-go only to go for the knock out.
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Link Flag
Not a legal eagle, eh?
it is obvious that you are not a lawyer. Injunctions have nothing
to do with the merits of the case. When one is issued, rarely in
buisness cases, it prevents some foreseeable harm from
occurring. Creative will be unable to meet that criterion.

This is not the kind of case a corp settles because it involves an
important aspect of the product. Apple will see this one
through and prevail.

It is also key that Creative is not on equal footing with Apple.
The impression that Creative, losing money, is trying to recoup
its losses by strongarming Apple, will influence the judge
hearing Creative's case. Ironically, the market leader will be
cast as the underdog.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
This happens all the time
I doubt either company wants to risk that the others patents are valid or an preliminary injuction. If they're smart this will end in a cross licensing deal out of court.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just listen to yourself
You blog as if Creative is on the same level as Apple. I think not. Remember Apple is a Billion dollar company.

The funds Creative has left would have been better used to focus on what they do best. Sound cards, etc.

Apple's Lawyers strategized Creative's sucker punch from the get-go only to go for the knock out.
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Link Flag
Not a legal eagle, eh?
it is obvious that you are not a lawyer. Injunctions have nothing
to do with the merits of the case. When one is issued, rarely in
buisness cases, it prevents some foreseeable harm from
occurring. Creative will be unable to meet that criterion.

This is not the kind of case a corp settles because it involves an
important aspect of the product. Apple will see this one
through and prevail.

It is also key that Creative is not on equal footing with Apple.
The impression that Creative, losing money, is trying to recoup
its losses by strongarming Apple, will influence the judge
hearing Creative's case. Ironically, the market leader will be
cast as the underdog.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
Oh, What a Web We Weave...When first we practice to deceive
Oh, What a Web We Weave...When first we practice to deceive.

HA! HA! I've never seen Stock go down so fast!

Apple started preparing for this case the day Creative won the rights to this minor patent.

Creative though they could finagle money from Apple because of an inconsequential patent they have. Creative's patent has nothing to do with the success of the Ipod. If it did then the Zen would probably as successful--don't you think.

Now greed and trickery will be Creatives undoing.

It's a shame too because they made really good sound cards.

Sell your stock before it's too late...
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh, What a Web We Weave...When first we practice to deceive
Oh, What a Web We Weave...When first we practice to deceive.

HA! HA! I've never seen Stock go down so fast!

Apple started preparing for this case the day Creative won the rights to this minor patent.

Creative though they could finagle money from Apple because of an inconsequential patent they have. Creative's patent has nothing to do with the success of the Ipod. If it did then the Zen would probably as successful--don't you think.

Now greed and trickery will be Creatives undoing.

It's a shame too because they made really good sound cards.

Sell your stock before it's too late...
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Coming to a Theatre near you - Da Creative Con
A Warm August in 2005&The US Patent office has just awarded Creative rights to a menu patent that Apple uses in their successful iPod.

Creative: We've got them by the balls now. Lets call them up and make em grovel.

((ring ring))

Apple: Hello
Creative: I'm sure you heard the news. No use in beating around the bush, were calling to discuss the royalty rate you will pay us.
Apple: We submitted a patent for the very same thing you just happen to win out&timing luck. Besides, your stinky little patent has nothing to do with the success of our Ipod.
Creative: We own it and we need to get paid. Our stock holders need a return on their investment!
Apple: Never.
Creative: We insist that you discuss it.
Apple: No.
Creative: We legally own the rights to that patent!
Apple: So, why are you starting with us, why arent you suing Iriver, Sony or Samsung. Arent they infringing on the same patent.
Creative: Oh Please, dont get me started. They made less money then us on MP3 player sales.
Apple: So youre suing us because weve been highly successful with our Mp3 player. Is that it?
Creative: We will sue them too, eventually--but getting back to the point! We need to determine a fair royalty rate.
Apple: Absolutely not.
Creative: Why?
Apple: Because there is nothing creative about Creative. You've practically copied the look and feel of our Ipod design from the get-go. And now, you expect us to pay you because you had no success at copying our Ipod. We thinkNOT!
Creative: That menu patent was our original idea. That is our intellectual property and we insist that you pay us for using it.
Apple: Yeah, right. (sarcastically)
Creative: Then well see you in Court. We going to sue you to the coreno, to the seeds in you core!
Apple: You're wasting our time. Weve got to fill a bevy of Ipod orders; 500,000 customers called saying they returned something called a Zen and now they want an Ipod&something about it doesn't work with iTunes. Goodbye. (click)
Creative: Ooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
((ring ring))
Creative's Legal Dept.: Hello
Creative: Let's sue that Rotten Apple!
Creative's Legal Dept.: We'll get right on it boss.
(9 months later)
Creative files a lawsuit against Apple.
Creative: We want Apple to cease and desist all Ipod sales in the US. We want a big settlement like that US company got against the Canadian Blackberry. I think they settled for a little less than a billion. That would be fine by us.
***Later that same day...***
((ring, ring))
Creative: Hello
Creative's Legal Dept.: Hey boss, Apple is counter suing us. They say we are infringing on FOUR of their patents. The word has gotten out and our $5.00 stock is dropping fast!
Creative: When we were pleasantly discussing the terms of our patent rights with Apple they never mentioned anything about it.
Creatives Legal Dept.: What shall we do boss?

The story continues&
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Coming to a Theatre near you - Da Creative Con
A Warm August in 2005&The US Patent office has just awarded Creative rights to a menu patent that Apple uses in their successful iPod.

Creative: We've got them by the balls now. Lets call them up and make em grovel.

((ring ring))

Apple: Hello
Creative: I'm sure you heard the news. No use in beating around the bush, were calling to discuss the royalty rate you will pay us.
Apple: We submitted a patent for the very same thing you just happen to win out&timing luck. Besides, your stinky little patent has nothing to do with the success of our Ipod.
Creative: We own it and we need to get paid. Our stock holders need a return on their investment!
Apple: Never.
Creative: We insist that you discuss it.
Apple: No.
Creative: We legally own the rights to that patent!
Apple: So, why are you starting with us, why arent you suing Iriver, Sony or Samsung. Arent they infringing on the same patent.
Creative: Oh Please, dont get me started. They made less money then us on MP3 player sales.
Apple: So youre suing us because weve been highly successful with our Mp3 player. Is that it?
Creative: We will sue them too, eventually--but getting back to the point! We need to determine a fair royalty rate.
Apple: Absolutely not.
Creative: Why?
Apple: Because there is nothing creative about Creative. You've practically copied the look and feel of our Ipod design from the get-go. And now, you expect us to pay you because you had no success at copying our Ipod. We thinkNOT!
Creative: That menu patent was our original idea. That is our intellectual property and we insist that you pay us for using it.
Apple: Yeah, right. (sarcastically)
Creative: Then well see you in Court. We going to sue you to the coreno, to the seeds in you core!
Apple: You're wasting our time. Weve got to fill a bevy of Ipod orders; 500,000 customers called saying they returned something called a Zen and now they want an Ipod&something about it doesn't work with iTunes. Goodbye. (click)
Creative: Ooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
((ring ring))
Creative's Legal Dept.: Hello
Creative: Let's sue that Rotten Apple!
Creative's Legal Dept.: We'll get right on it boss.
(9 months later)
Creative files a lawsuit against Apple.
Creative: We want Apple to cease and desist all Ipod sales in the US. We want a big settlement like that US company got against the Canadian Blackberry. I think they settled for a little less than a billion. That would be fine by us.
***Later that same day...***
((ring, ring))
Creative: Hello
Creative's Legal Dept.: Hey boss, Apple is counter suing us. They say we are infringing on FOUR of their patents. The word has gotten out and our $5.00 stock is dropping fast!
Creative: When we were pleasantly discussing the terms of our patent rights with Apple they never mentioned anything about it.
Creatives Legal Dept.: What shall we do boss?

The story continues&
Posted by phoenix8603 (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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