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Creative sues Apple for violation of "Zen Patent"

Paul Miller, @futurepaul
May 15, 2006
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The love fest between Creative and Apple continues, but this time it's pretty serious. Creative is pulling out those media player interface patents they filed in August of last year, and suing Apple for patent infringement with their iPod, iPod nano and iPod mini players. It doesn't seem to matter much to Creative that two of those players were released long before the patent in question, and the iPod nano came out a mere month later. There's also no mention of a seemingly more legitimate argument: Apple's possible trademark infringement in the use of the "nano" name. Creative claims that their NOMAD Jukebox was on display at CES in January 2000, and there displayed the user interface that has since been copied by Apple and others. This user interface is covered in August's "Zen Patent," and sounds vaguely defined enough to have some weight in court, as silly as it seems. Creative of course wants a cease and desist order to be issued, and basically a complete death of the iPod unit in general, but that's no surprise. All we can do now is sit back and watch the sparks fly.

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