Creative Plans Music Player Patent Battle

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Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative, a maker of digital music players, told the BBC that he plans on aggressively pursuing protection for a patent the company owns. The patent describes a way of using menus to navigate through songs on a digital music player.

Mr. Sim commented "We will pursue all manufacturers that use the same navigation system. This is something we will pursue aggressively."

Although Creative isnit naming who it plans on going after, odds are Apple is at the top of its list, with the release of the Vision:M digital and video music player may be a shot across Appleis bow. The Vision:M bears an uncanny resemblance to Appleis video capable iPod, and its menu setup seems to go beyond a coincidental similarity. It even goes so far as to include a green battery indicator in the upper right corner of the display, just like iPods with color screens.

The Vision:Mis resemblance to the video capable iPod is nothing more than coincidence, according to Mr. Sim. He denied that his company copied Appleis design, saying Creativeis product had been in the works for more than a year.

Creative may have come on scene earlier with a digital music player, but itis Apple that controls the market. Creative has been playing catch-up ever since the iPod started selling.

If Creative were to win a court battle over its patent infringement claims, that could spell trouble for other digital music player companies, including Apple. A settlement could include anything from royalty payments to Creative, up to injunctions barring the sale of competing MP3 players.

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