Creative Sues Apple over iPod User Interface; Apple Counter-Claims

Creative Technology, manufacturer of digital music players, last Monday announced that its United States subsidiary, Creative Labs, has commenced proceedings against Apple in a United States federal court for alleged patent infringement.

The United States Patent and Trade Mark Office issued the relevant patent ('the Zen patent') to Creative on 9 August 2005. According to Creative, it covers the user interface (menus, buttons and commands) by which users of a portable music player navigate to tracks and play back music on most digital media devices -- including Creative's Zen and Nomad brands as well as Apple iPod devices. In short, Creative alleges that Apple has misappropriated elements of the design into the user interface of its popular iPod digital audio device.

Apple, in turn, has commenced separate proceedings against Creative Labs, claiming infringement of four of its own patents relating to portable music players. The suit was filed in a Wisconsin District Court on the same day. It seems likely that the actions will be consolidated into a single proceeding.

Originally by iTNews Australia - Government/Law, 12:14 PM