Creative sues Apple for patent infringement

MP3 player manufacturer Creative on Monday filed a lawsuit against Apple Computer for infringing on what Creative is calling the "Zen Patent." Creative claims the patent covers the user interface used by the iPod.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks damages and an injunction against Apple for its willful infringement of the patent.

Creative said the US Patent Office issued the patent covering the user interface on August 9, 2005. Since first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2000, Creative said the interface has been used in its players, as well as other companies players, including Apple's iPod.

Creative also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission requesting that the Commission investigate whether Apple violated the Tariff Act by importing and selling iPods.

Creative is seeking an exclusion order, and a cease and desist order against Apple, which would effectively prevent the company from importing, selling or marketing the iPod products.

The relationship between Apple and Creative has been tumultuous at best. Creative has, on more than one occasion, declared a marketing war against Apple and its iPod.

Apple representatives were not immediately available for comment. Typically, Apple does not comment on pending litigation.

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