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iPod/Apple lawsuit may harm Creative

updated 06:05 pm EDT, Wed May 17, 2006

Creative lawsuit will cost

Analysts suspect Creative's new legal action against Apple will disrupt management turnaround efforts despite higher share prices, according to Reuters. Creative on Monday filed a patent complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting that the Commission institute an investigation of whether Apple has violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. "The stock price is just a knee-jerk bounce," CIMB-G.K. Securities analyst Jonathan Ng said. "The lawsuit will be a long process, and even if they win, any damages awarded will be a one-off gain. This does not change Creative's business fundamentals and the fact that there is nothing much to look forward to on the operations front."

Creative is seeking an exclusion order and cease and desist order against Apple to prohibit the Cupertino-based company from engaging in sales, marketing, importation or sale after importation into the United States, or other infringing activities in the United States with regard to the infringing iPod and iPod Nano products. Creative also filed a lawsuit against Apple in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California that seeks an injunction and increased damages for Apple's willful infringement of the Zen Patent.

The market reacts

Shares of Creative today soared 9.3 percent to $10 on thin volume during the morning hours, backed by news of the patent infringement suit. Apple shares, conversely, fell more than 4 percent on Tuesday as a result of the patent lawsuit and concerns that its business may be slowing.

A costly fight

Apple is not likely to give up its profitable iPod business without a long, expensive fight that will cost time and money that Creative can't afford, according to Kim Eng Securities analyst Gregory Yap.

"Creative's suit against Apple may bring relief to the share price in the short term, but in the long term, it will distract and divert management attention and company resources when both are needed to turn around the ailing business," Yap said.

Financial standing

Creative in early April warned shareholders of an operating loss in its fiscal third quarter that ended in March, blaming lower margins and inventory write-downs. Shortly afterward the company slashed prices on its MP3 players in an attempt to lure consumers away from Apple's market-leading iPods. Apple, meanwhile, posted a quarterly profit of $410 million for its March quarter, beating analyst estimates.

Creative is expected to post a net loss of $116.6 million for the entire year ending June 30th, according to an average forecast from 10 analysts polled by Reuters.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hanging by a thread

    Is what Creative is doing. Pathetic company run by a CEO that seems dumber than Real's Ceo Rob Glaser.

  1. adrian_milliner

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    can't compete?

    litigate

  1. chabig

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Creative name change?

    I heard Creative is changing its name to Litigative.

  1. Ganesha

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Great time for

    Creative management to sell sell sell.. They may be co-listed on a US exchange, but its management is safe from the arm of US law in Singapore.

  1. cebritt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sell to Apple

    If I was running Creative, I'd just sell the whole company to Apple for as much as I could get.

  1. Raccoon

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    heck

    this wouldn't even be in court if Creative was allowed ipod access..

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