updated 01:30 am EDT, Thu July 6, 2006
iPod lawsuits settlement?
Apple and Creative may be open to a settlement, following iPod-related lawsuits filed by each company in recent months. Recent court filings indicate that both parties "remain open to the possibility" of ending their copyright and patent litigation battles over handheld music players. On July 3, both companies said they were in negotiations involving the licensing of Creative's patent to Apple before the lawsuit was filed and that both were still "open" to reaching an agreement. Although "the parties will remain open to the possibility of settlement," the filing indicates that no specific settlement discussions are planned, according to Bloomberg, which obtained the joint report to the judge. Creative claims that Apple turned to the company first in 2001 in hopes to either license Creative's technology or jointly invest in a new company that would further develop Creative's MP3 player products, but that Creative declined proposals by Apple--which went on to introduce the first iPod later that same year.
The ongoing legal battle stems from a US patent awarded to Creative last year. In August of 2005, Creative received a patent for a user interface for digital music players: the Zen Patent covers the user interface that enables users of portable media players to "efficiently and intuitively navigate among and select tracks on the players."
In early May, Creative filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission over the sale of iPods and iPod nanos in the US, which it says infringe on its "Zen Patent". In addition, Creative filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction and damages for willful infringement. The same day, Apple countersued alleging that Creative has infringed on four of Apple's patents and also filed a second lawsuit alleging that Creative is infringing on three other Apple patents relating to using icons, and displaying and editing data.