Creative Technology has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the iPod’s interface is infringing on the company’s “Zen Patent.” Creative also said today that it has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting that the federal agency launch an investigation intro 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 U.S. Patent 6,928,433, which Creative refers to as the Zen Patent.” Further details on both of Creative’s legal actions below.
From Creative’s announcement of the complaints:
As relief, Creative is seeking an exclusion order and cease and desist order against Apple Computer Inc. The orders sought would prohibit Apple Computer Inc. 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 also filed a lawsuit today against Apple Computer Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California that seeks an injunction and increased damages for Apple Computer Inc.‘s willful infringement of the Zen Patent.
The United States Patent Office issued the Zen Patent to Creative on August 9, 2005 for its invention of the user interface used by most portable digital media players, including many of the Creative Zen and NOMAD Jukebox MP3 players and competing players such as the iPod, iPod Nano and iPod mini.
Working at Creative’s Scotts Valley, California facility, Creative’s engineers invented the user interface covered by the Zen Patent to address the challenges of convenient organization and access of songs on high-capacity portable digital media players. Creative subsequently implemented its now-patented interface on its NOMAD Jukebox player, which was announced and presented as a functioning prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2000. The user interface covered by the Zen Patent has since been implemented in a variety of Creative players, the most recent being the award-winning Zen Vision:M.
Creative was awarded the “Zen Patent” for portable media player navigation in August 2005. The company said it was considering legal action against Apple a month later, and then Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo said he would go after any company that he thinks violates the patent. “We will pursue all manufacturers that use the same navigation system,” he said. “This is something we will pursue aggressively. Hopefully this will be friendly, but people have to respect intellectual property.”