Scotts Valley (CA) - Creative is pointing its legal guns at Apple and hopes that the U.S. International Trade Commission will issue an injunction against Apple that keeps the company from selling the Ipod portable media player in the U.S. Creative also filed a suit that seeks damages for "willful" patent infringement.
Creative’s legal attack and suit against Apple was just a matter of time, as the manufacturer of the "Zen" and "Nomad" series of MP3 players mentioned several times in the past that it would enforce its "Zen" patent. That patent, granted in August of last year, describes a way of automatically organizing digital music collections into categories - and the company claims that Apple’s Ipod, Ipod Nano and Ipod Mini infringe on the firm’s intellectual property.
According to the filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Creative is pursuing an exclusion order and cease and desist order against Apple Computer. "The orders sought would prohibit Apple Computer 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 said. Creative also filed a lawsuit today 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."
During the introduction of the Zen Vision :M player in December of last year, company CEO Sim Wong Hoo told the BBC that Creative intended to "pursue aggressively" any infringements on their patented interface design. He mentioned that "hopefully, this will be friendly, but people have to respect intellectual property." As so often, these friendly talks appear to have failed and legal action against Apple may be Creative’s only option left to attack the market dominance of the Ipod.
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