“Back in August, Apple and Creative Technology announced a settlement to the legal battle over the iPod’s acclaimed interface. After a dispute lasting several months, Apple relinquished to Creative’s so-called Zen Patent, which ‘covers the user interface that enables users of portable media players to efficiently and intuitively navigate among and select tracks on the players. Creative applied for the Zen Patent on January 5, 2001 and it was awarded on August 9, 2005,'” Michael Simon writes for Spymac.
“Under the terms of the settlement, Apple paid Creative a handsome sum of $100 million for ‘a paid-up license to use Creative’s recently awarded patent in all Apple products.’ At the time, I wondered why Creative accepted a rather small fee — after all, Research in Motion ended up writing $612.5 million check over its Blackberry wireless e-mail patent dispute — and didn’t demand a licensing fee for the use of its interface,” Simon writes. “Maybe it’s because it won’t be around much longer.”
Simon writes, “Think about it: With a widescreen, touch-enabled screen, the iPod’s current menu is going to seem awfully low-tech; but what if a scaled-down version of Front Row were to find its way onto the iPod?”
More in the full article here.
Creative does Apple’s dirty work by immediately attacking Microsoft’s Zune – September 17, 2006
Creative Tech: we will pursue all MP3 player- and cellphone-makers that infringe on ‘Zen patent’ – August 30, 2006
Apple investors cheer as Jobs wins again by getting Creative – August 24, 2006
Apple and Creative settle – the bigger picture – August 24, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s relatively small settlement with Creative removes threat hanging over iPod – August 23, 2006
Apple & Creative settle: Apple pays $100M for ‘Zen’ patent, Creative plans iPod accessories – August 23, 2006