Apple plays hardball: files counter-suit against beleaguered Creative in sympathetic Texas court

“Apple Computer Inc., maker of market-leading iPod digital music players, has filed a second patent infringement lawsuit in the United States against rival Creative Technology Ltd.,” Reuters reports. “Apple filed its latest suit in a district court in Texas last Thursday, claiming Creative has infringed at least three of its patents — one that involves displaying data on a computer, another for editing data using a portable media device, and the third for the creation of icons to organise files on a computer.”

Apple has intentionally picked the court where it submitted the latest suit. “Apple’s second counter-suit was filed in a district court in Texarkana, Texas, which handles a disproportionate share of major patent cases in the United States,” Reuters reports. “Legal experts have found that patent trials put before juries in the court have favoured patent holders, suggesting that Apple has chosen the venue as a means to put pressure on Creative to settle the patent dispute quickly.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Creative started this war. Apple will finish it.

[UPDATE: 9:58am EDT: Fixed headlines. Thank you for your sympathies. Do you know that, for some reason, Safari’s spell check doesn’t work in ExpressionEngine’s “Title” (headline) field? We do.]

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  1. face: Yeah, I’m sure you’re right on that!

    But this one, the venue of the filing, is pretty interesting in that it shows that Apple is really putting the pressure on Creative — like BIG TIME!

    This is really guerilla tactics — and therefore I find THAT interesting!

  2. Like it was mentioned before, Creative bought 3DLabs and refused to make video cards and drivers compatable with Macs for Lightwave and Maya rendering.

    Creative deserves everything they are going to get.

  3. I thought that court was in Marshall, Texas. (At least, that is where Tivo won their lawsuit. And the Marshall court has been “groomed” by the judge to handle patent infringements quickly.)

  4. I’m very happy that Apple is punching back hard. Apple has let Creative play its little games to long and it’s about time they put an end to it, maybe for good if Creative doesn’t settle quickly.

  5. Folks,

    These patent lawsuits are a sign of a system gone mad. Sure, a corporation like Apple has a large patent portfolio and the deep pockets to countersue Creative.

    But what if Creative (or Apple) had sued some small inventor tinkering in his garage, or a startup that barely got its product to market? They won’t have the patent portfolio or deep pockets, and they wouldn’t stand a chance.

    What’s happened is that Congress has, for its own reasons, robbed the fees that inventors and artists pay to the Patents and Trademarks Office, which has limited the growth (and training) of patent examiners. In turn, the examiners have become overwhelmed and increasingly less able to cope with the complexities of the patent applications presented to them.

    Net result? More and more bogus and questionable patents get approved, when they never should have.

    The PTO has therefore abdicated its responsibility and devalued the worth of getting a patent approved. Now, the real test of a patent is when it becomes the subject of a legal battle.

    And who tends to win those legal battles? The large corporations with significant patent portfolios and deep pockets.

    Who loses out? The small, innovative firms and private inventors, who simply cannot compete in a playing field so heavily tilted toward the 400 kilo gorllas.

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