Creative Sues Apple, Claims They Created MP3 Menus

Could patent law be any more absurd? Perhaps we’re on the wrong end of it, but it seems that the only tangible result of modern patent law is a string of nuisance lawsuits in which one company attempts to rob consumers of a product they enjoy by suing a company that has made an ostensibly similar competing device. Re: Blackberry. But now, Creative vs. Apple.

Creative is now claiming that the iPod breaches a patent on the always-inferior Zen. The patent, dated August 9, 2005 (note to the astute: a patent filed four years after the iPod revolutionized mp3 players), is “for [Creative’s] invention of the user interface used by most portable digital-media players.”

In other words, Creative is claiming to own menus. They are asking the ITC to halt all sales on iPod products until the case shakes out. Yeah, we’re sure that’s going to happen.

Creative sues Apple over patents [Market Watch]


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  1. PanicRoom says:

    A note to the [more] astute: the patent was actually filed in 2000 but wasn’t granted until 2005. Problem is, every man and his dog has organized music by genre, title and artist and the menu structure is native to both the Mac OS and NeXT operating systems. This patent is way too broad to enforce. But hey Creative, let’s spend a couple million on lawsuits instead of trying to improve an amazingly rectal product and compete with Apple in the old fashioned way.

  2. mariser says:

    I take issue with “…on the always-inferior Zen”. please. I own two Zens: a 30G digital jukebox which I’ve had for ~ 3 years, and a 1G Nano+ for about a year. they both get used daily, never had a problem, and I don’t have to use iTunes.

    I think the patent infringement lawsuit is a bad idea for Creative to pursue; they must be against the wall and reaching for anything against the Apple (almost)-monopoly.

  3. Papercutninja says:

    Hahah hah. Sour grapes, Creative? Tired of being the brand that only gets purchased by rebellious Apple-haters? Why not just make a better product? Oh are you satisfied with creating second-rate and often stillborn digital music players?

  4. Bubba Barney says:

    OMG. I lurve my Zen Nano. It’s super easy to use and I haven’t had a problem with it yet. It’s tiny and I can clip it just about anywhere to keep it out of the way.

    I also like that you can replace the battery as needed. One triple A lasts a week for me. Plus, it has a voice recorder, and FM radio, if I get sick of my music.

    I do hate Apple though. All I ask is that Apple invent a mouse with two buttons and a scroll.

  5. Nate says:

    Your wish is granted.

  6. Bubba Barney says:

    Looks and sounds cool, but has anyone actually used it? It’s hard for a two-buttoner to adjust to new clicking habits.