updated 06:15 pm EDT, Thu May 18, 2006
Apple vs. Creative
Apple this week filed a lawsuit against its smaller rival Creative Technologies, after it publicized its lawsuit and government complaint against the Cupertino-based iPod maker earlier this week. According to Bloomberg News, Apple has sued Creative in federal court in Wisconsin on Monday, the same day Creative filed its patent suit against Apple, alleging that Creative has infringed on four of Apple's patents. Earlier this week, Creative announced it had filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) as well as filed a lawsuit for in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit seeks an injunction and increased damages for Apple's willful infringement of U.S. Patent 6,928,433 (the "Zen Patent"), while the USITC complaint requests that the Commission begin an investigation of whether Apple has violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 through its importation and sale after importation into the United States of iPods and iPod Nanos that infringe the Zen Patent.
"Creative proactively held discussions with Apple in our efforts to explore amicable solutions," Phil O'Shaughnessy, a spokesman for Creative, told Bloomberg. "At no time during these discussions or at any other time did Apple mention to us the patents it raised in its lawsuit."
Meanwhile, Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo told the BBC that he will aggressively protect his company's US "Zen Patent" relating to the navigation of music on MP3 or other audio players and hopes to earn royalties from other manufacturers that use the patented navigations system. He also noted that Creative is already in talks with parties over the Zen Patent, which was awarded in August of last year.
"Hopefully this will be friendly, but people have to respect intellectual property," Sim said.