Creative seeks injunction against Apple

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Creative Technology on Monday filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking an injunction against Apple Computer that would prohibit the company from importing its iPods, which are manufactured overseas, into the United States.



In the filing, the Apple rival requests an investigation into whether the iPod maker has violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing iPods into the US that allegedly infringe on Creative's digital music player patent (No. 6,928,433), referred to as the "Zen Patent."



Apple's iPods are designed at the company's Cupertino, Calif.-based design studios but manufactured at facilities in the Far East. Under Section 337 of Tariff Act of 1930, imported products that allegedly violate United States intellectual property rights can be barred from entry into the country.



Creative is seeking an exclusion order and cease and desist order against Apple, prohibiting it from engaging in the sale, marketing, importation or sale after importation of its flagship iPod and iPod nano players.



Also Monday, the company filed a lawsuit against Apple in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California seeking an injunction and increased damages for the iPod maker's "willful infringement of the Zen Patent."



The Zen Patent, which was awarded to Creative on August 9, 2005, is for the invention of the software interface used by the company in its Zen and NOMAD Jukebox MP3 players. Creative charges that Apple has used the same interface for its iPod, iPod nano and iPod mini players.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 75
    Sounds like another repeat of Apple vs. Apple (Beatles vs. Apple Computer)....whenever Apple is at the top of the game, a bunch of petty idiots try to leach off of their success.



    Of course, we all know that the outcome will again be favorable for Apple.



    Also, the interface Creative uses is NOTHING like the one Apple uses, unless I am missing something?
  • Reply 2 of 75
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I don't know whether ALL software patents are bad, but some sure are.



    If Apple's violating a nonsense Patent, they can still be hurt by it. Forced to ship those iPods back, program a new UI, and face a sales void until the revised models can ship.



    So hopefully they're not violating the patent!



    PS, the iPod interface works exactly like the OS X Column view. Which in turn is based on the NeXT column view.
  • Reply 3 of 75
    zwebenzweben Posts: 75member
    Why are they even bothering? Do they honestly think they're going to get Apple to stop selling iPods in the United States? \



    Apple would probably sooner buy out Creative and drop their entire product line than stop selling iPods as-is.
  • Reply 4 of 75
    macbear01macbear01 Posts: 39member
    This begs for additional details. Based solely on the information in this article, this complaint has absolutely no merit. There's a little thing known as "prior work". The iPod interface hasn't changed all that much since its initial 1st generation release and I'm pretty sure that it came well before the Creative Zen.
  • Reply 5 of 75
    awinn233awinn233 Posts: 10member
    Ridiculous!
  • Reply 6 of 75
    pairof9spairof9s Posts: 67member
    Wow...talk about sour grapes! The iPod blows away the Zen in the market place, so Creative sues Apple for supposedly using the same UI? So that means to say that the only reason everyone bought an iPod instead of a Zen was the interface....riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!
  • Reply 7 of 75
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    Don't be too quick, here!



    This was a question ever since this patent was granted. Apple had plenty of time to file to overthrow the patent, if they wanted to, and had they considered it to be invalid. Creative had originally said that they wouldn't use the patent against their competitors, but things change.



    I haven't delved into it, so I don't know how this really affects Apple, or how valid it really is.



    But, don't assume that apple will win. Look at the RIM case. Even though the patents are being ruled invalid, they still paid $650 million out, and entered into an agreement.



    That case has encouraged Creative to do this, as it has been said that it would have a chilling affect on those being sued, and threatened with an injunction.
  • Reply 8 of 75
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macbear01

    The iPod interface hasn't changed all that much since its initial 1st generation release and I'm pretty sure that it came well before the Creative Zen.



    I BELIEVE that the Creative Nomad predated the iPod, and had a vaguely similar UI. Calling it the "Zen Patent" might be just to get the name Zen in the press



    Someone correct me if my memory has failed me.
  • Reply 9 of 75
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mikehackman

    a bunch of petty idiots try to leach off of their success.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by pairof9s

    Wow...talk about sour grapes!



    Whilst I really don't like patents, one has to deal with the fact that they exist.



    Apple tried to patent the iPod interface, but they failed because Creative had patented that idea/design/whatever already. So, it would seem, Creative do actually have a leg to stand on, and this cannot be dismissed as "sour grapes" or Creative being "petty idiots".



    Edit: oops, sorry, I was wrong. Creative do have a case of sour grapes, are petty idiots, and don't have a leg to stand on.



    Actually, Apple failed to patent the iPod interface because Microsoft got there first! (see here and here). I don't know where Creative think they are coming from with this.



  • Reply 10 of 75
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Creative have also had a lot of time to file this complaint.
  • Reply 11 of 75
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    It's interesting they're using the ITC. An ITC investigation and resolution can happen much faster than a federal patent case. Most ITC cases are completely resolved in 18 months or so. However, the ITC actions are often not applicable to products that are substantially designed and created within the United States, no matter where they're being manufactured, so that will probably be Apple's first line of defense.



    Another factor in the ITC investigation, is that losing in an ITC action does not invalidate the patent. You can lose an ITC complaint then turn around and sue again in federal court.



    ITC actions can also trigger USPTO internal investigations of the patents, and the USPTO could choose to invalidate a patent without any action taken by Apple.



    Considering the iPod's UI is derivative of the NeXT UI from the 1980's, I doubt Creative is going to get very far in the long run, but they may be able to induce some sort of settlement.
  • Reply 12 of 75
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nagromme

    I BELIEVE that the Creative Nomad predated the iPod, and had a vaguely similar UI. Calling it the "Zen Patent" might be just to get the name Zen in the press



    Someone correct me if my memory has failed me.




    I don't know which Nomad model this is supposed to be taken from, as the joke was that Creative didn't use the technologies in its patent application until a year AFTER the iPod first came out.



    My Nomad II, which I still have, but haven't used in years, is a beautiful little device, but the menuing (is that a word?) system is way behind that in the iPod.



    One reason why the iPod took off was because its screen and menus were so far ahead of anything else on the market.
  • Reply 13 of 75
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Actually, Apple failed to patent the iPod interface because Microsoft got there first! (see here and here). I don't know where Creative think they are coming from with this.



    I'm pretty sure the "Zen Patent" was filed before Microsoft as well.
  • Reply 14 of 75
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Whilst I really don't like patents, one has to deal with the fact that they exist.



    Apple tried to patent the iPod interface, but they failed because Creative had patented that idea/design/whatever already. So, it would seem, Creative do actually have a leg to stand on, and this cannot be dismissed as "sour grapes" or Creative being "petty idiots".



    Edit: oops, sorry, I was wrong. Creative do have a case of sour grapes, are petty idiots, and don't have a leg to stand on.



    Actually, Apple failed to patent the iPod interface because Microsoft got there first! (see here and here). I don't know where Creative think they are coming from with this.




    There are a lot entries in Google about the Creative patent and its dangers for Apple.



    http://www.macobserver.com/article/2005/09/01.7.shtml



    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl....DTL&type=tech
  • Reply 15 of 75
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    There are a lot entries in Google about the Creative patent and its dangers for Apple.



    http://www.macobserver.com/article/2005/09/01.7.shtml



    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl....DTL&type=tech




    Hmmm, I thought I remembered something about Creative patents relating to the iPod. Looks like I was mixing my recollections.



    Apple tried to patent the interface, but were told they couldn't because of a Microsoft patent, but Creative has a patent that predates the Microsoft one. So, if the Creative patent has patented the same thing that the Microsoft patent does (an interface like the one the iPod uses), how did Microsoft manage to get their patent granted in the first place?
  • Reply 16 of 75
    macbear01macbear01 Posts: 39member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nagromme

    I BELIEVE that the Creative Nomad predated the iPod, and had a vaguely similar UI. Calling it the "Zen Patent" might be just to get the name Zen in the press



    Someone correct me if my memory has failed me.




    It's true that the Nomad was released in January 2000 and the iPod in October 2001 - almost 2 years later. However, I can't find any graphics to verify what the UI looked like back in 2000. Prior work still applies and could damage Creative's position if Apple can point to the NeXT OS and column view in OS X, saying that's what the iPod UI is based on.
  • Reply 17 of 75
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Hmmm, I thought I remembered something about Creative patents relating to the iPod. Looks like I was mixing my recollections.



    Apple tried to patent the interface, but were told they couldn't because of a Microsoft patent, but Creative has a patent that predates the Microsoft one. So, if the Creative patent has patented the same thing that the Microsoft patent does (an interface like the one the iPod uses), how did Microsoft manage to get their patent granted in the first place?




    Patents can be slightly different, and still be valid. We don't know how they did this in software.



    The rule is; patent quickly, and patent often.
  • Reply 18 of 75
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,472member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macbear01

    It's true that the Nomad was released in January 2000 and the iPod in October 2001 - almost 2 years later. However, I can't find any graphics to verify what the UI looked like back in 2000. Prior work still applies and could damage Creative's position if Apple can point to the NeXT OS and column view in OS X, saying that's what the iPod UI is based on.



    I remember them. As I said, I have the Nomad II, and it loks nothing like the iPod interface, nor does it work the same way.



    The interface for the Creative Jukebox was a bit better, but I remember it as being more primitive than the iPods, as I had considered buying it instead of the Nomad II. But, it was too big and clumsy.



    I bought my Nomad at a Macworld in Boston.
  • Reply 19 of 75
    odedhodedh Posts: 53member
    doesn't really matter since Creative market Cap is 460m$, and Apple has 8b$ in cash, Apple can buy them and their moronic Patent
  • Reply 20 of 75
    elixirelixir Posts: 782member
    seriously this patent crap needs to be fixed. the system is completely flawed.
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