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Apple Sues Creative

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the tit-for-litigious-tat dept.

340

boarder8925 writes "Apple is counter-suing Creative, claiming it has infringed 'four patents in its handheld digital players.' The suit was filed the same day that Creative filed suit against Apple. 'Creative proactively held discussions with Apple in our efforts to explore amicable solutions,' a spokesman for Creative said. 'At no time during these discussions or at any other time did Apple mention to us the patents it raised in its lawsuit.'"

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364705)

First post.

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364713)

Second post

You mispelled frist... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364917)

...and pist.

Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364709)

Quoting the summary:
'Creative proactively held discussions with Apple in our efforts to explore amicable solutions,' a spokesman for Creative said. 'At no time during these discussions or at any other time did Apple mention to us the patents it raised in its lawsuit.'
Waaah! Waaah! Waaaah!

What were creative thinking? That they'd get some sympathy? Play with patent fire & you're going to get burnt.

And frankly, I think Apple & Creative should be more worried about this patent [nwsource.com] then each other.

Mildly interesting to see what's happened to Apple [google.com] and Creative's [google.com] stock since the two announcements (looks like Apple's lost ~4% & Creative ~2.5%).

*Sighs* such a pity to see two companies that employ so many talented people wasting their time like this.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364728)

Apple held prior art. Microsoft just created the patent in hopes that the judge will be stupid.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (3, Informative)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364735)

The Microsoft patent article you linked to:
Creating a surprise twist in the portable music wars, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied Apple's application to patent its method of using hierarchical menus to navigate through the iPod's contents.

The basis for the denial: A similar method outlined in a Microsoft researcher's patent application, filed after the iPod was introduced but before Apple sought its own patent.
Prior art for the lose?

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (5, Interesting)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364736)

When I read that Apple didn't discuss the patents Creative is infringing on, I thought why should they? Like any sane thing to do is show all the cards you're playing with.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (5, Funny)

lbrandy (923907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364864)

When I read that Apple didn't discuss the patents Creative is infringing on, I thought why should they? Like any sane thing to do is show all the cards you're playing with.

Close, but wrong. Apple was afraid.... One the patents that came up early in the discussion was Creative's patent on 'a method of meeting and talking openly about patents in an attempt to extort money'.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364964)

It's a common enough tactic to (a) prepare a complaint and not file it until absolutely necessary and (b) after filing it, not serve the complaint on your adversary until absolutely necessary. When there's still a chance for amicable negotiations, it can be unhelpful to waive the proverbial cocked pistol in your adversary's face.

It's also a common enough tactic to pretend to be outraged by whatever your opponent does, even if it didn't harm you at all. Yesterday, Creative was free to negotiate an end to this. Today, they're still free to do so. The ball is in their court. "Waaaaaaaah", indeed.

YIIAPLBIANYPL. GYOGDPL. YMNO.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365059)

Is that why we (the hive mind) are so sympathetic towards SCO too?

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (1)

weileong (241069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364749)

live by the sword, die by the sword.

in any case, this was the last option for creative anyway. if they lose this case, it's over for their MP3 players.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (5, Insightful)

crerwin (971247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364824)

Why is it over? Maybe I'm not up to date on Creative's financial situation, but for me their mp3 players are cheaper and as good or better than their Apple counterparts. I have a Zen Touch and am a little annoyed that it doesn't mount as a generic USB drive, but other Creative players do and that's my fault for not researching first.

I'd like to get a MuVo at some point. Mounts as a generic drive, FM receiver (and recorder, get 'em while the RIAA is unaware!), etc. I have no intention on buying an iPod anything. They're good products, but expensive, overhyped, and apparently "think different" means "buy an iPod like everyone else." Meh, whatever.

Sure, everyone loves Apple and will defend them vehemently when they get sued over a patent, yet we all like to forget when they've done the same. To me they're just another corporation trying to make a buck.

Brain ..... Hurting.... (4, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364758)

MS Patent [nwsource.com]
How do you pass the Novelty portion of a patent review when there is a product doing it on the market?
The inventors - Apple - gets denied a patent on their product because a competitor patented the process AFTER the product was on the market? What monkey do they have running the USPTO?

Re:Brain ..... Hurting.... (1, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364936)

You're right - its utterly insane.

Its kinda like Apple getting patents on the ipod even tho' the Zen came before it!

And you say... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364841)

Nothing of any value whatsoever. All day. Every day.

What a sad, empty, pathetic life, parked in front of your computer screen waiting to make a vacuous comment and get your little karma-reward.

It seems you have so little going on in your life that you have the time to camp out here all day.

It reminds me of those drunks waiting in front of the liquor store before it opens in the morning, or the heroin addicts fiending for their methadone in front of the clinic.

The difference I suppose is that there's hope for those people...

 

Re:And you say... (0, Offtopic)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364983)

Hahahahahaha,

It reminds me of those drunks waiting in front of the liquor store before it opens in the morning, or the heroin addicts fiending for their methadone in front of the clinic.

Thank you, thank you. I live for comments like this one - its an even better 'hit' then getting the +1 funny mod I crave so much.

Btw - how can you 'fiend' for methadone? I am geniunly curious to know what you meant.

I would also like to point out to you that you read /. often enough to know how often I post here! Everything you wrote about me applies to you!

*Blows Johnny-Boy a Kiss*

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (5, Insightful)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364868)

Mildly interesting to see what's happened to Apple [google.com] and Creative's [google.com] stock since the two announcements (looks like Apple's lost ~4% & Creative ~2.5%)
coincidental, not necessarily causal...the entire Nasdaq/Dow, as well as Europe and Japan, have been plunging for the last week.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365069)

coincidental, not necessarily causal...the entire Nasdaq/Dow, as well as Europe and Japan, have been plunging for the last week.

I dunno, Creative seems to have dropped 2.6% when the straight time's index fell only 0.3% [businessweek.com] .

Apple was certainly traded a good deal more then usual [publish.com] and it's share price seems to have dropped 4.3% against the nasdaq's 2.4%.

I'd say it's definitely more the coincidence - patents do hurt the market.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (0)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364885)

Play with patent fire...

Is that anything like patent leather?

Pffft...that's why I bought an iRiver. (1, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364935)

Creative's BS soundcard driver install process, and Apple's general loutishness drove me away from both companies. Why would I support someone who made me jump though hoops just to get the 'drivers only' installed for my soundcard? Why would I buy an over-priced, under-featured music player just because the 'interface is awesome!'? It's not so awesome...not the Apple Price Premium awesome, that's for sure.

This should be fun to watch.

Re:Summary: Creative says "Waaaaaaaah" (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364962)

such a pity to see two companies that employ so many talented people wasting their time like this.

I would hardly call it wasting time. The potential benefits from a successful patent lawsuit far outweigh the risks involved. You can quite literally put your competators out of business and gain a monopoly. In a very real sense, patent litigation is worth throwing everything and the kitchen sink into.

Re:Patent nuclear war (1)

DickBreath (207180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364971)

Play with patent fire & you're going to get burnt.
Patent nuclear war. (Nookular war)

Maybe we will get to witness mutually assured destruction?

Will it spread to become a global war? Every company with a related patent sues Apple and/or Creative. Apple and/or Creative countersues for some other patent. A third wave of companies see the second wave of companies attempting to profit from patent infringement suits, and realize that the second wave companies infringe on one of their patents. Therefore a third wave of patent holders sues the second wave. Countersuits follow. Etc, etc.

But seriously, something like this could be the best possible outcome. Let the natural consequences of a screwed up system penalize all of those who try to take advantage of it.

Maybe someone would wake up and realize that there is a problem here. Congresscritter thinking to itself: "First they took my blackberry, now my iPod. Something is wrong here.".

This is why patents suck (4, Insightful)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364714)

Everybody who does anything is vulnerable to this kind of attack, and the only way they can realistically defend themselves is to have a large patent library of thier own to countersue. Patents are supposed to help small inventors make it big, but all they're doing is letting large companies fight while squashing smaller competitors.

Re:This is why patents suck (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364738)

Patents are supposed to help small inventors make it big

Whatever gave you that idea?

A patent is supposed to be a deal between the inventor and the public: the inventor discloses his invention, in exchange for a limited period of exclusivity. Whether the inventor makes any money on it or not is beside the point.

-jcr

Re:This is why patents suck (4, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364858)

I suppose I would slightly disagree with both of you. The purpose of patents, from the standpoint of the people who set up the whole patent system (the government) is to encourage innovation by allowing inventors a chance to make money exclusively for a short period. Basically to balance the rewards between the inventor and the public. It's a nice thought, but...

I agree that patents suck, and yes, I agree that cases like this are part of why they suck. Society wastes time litigating that could be spent on productivity. Worse examples of why patents suck include the NTP vs RIM case (basically NTP doesn't do anything except sue, all 5 of their patents were issued temporary rejections, and due to the uncertainty of the patent status, RIM was essentially forced to settle because of the potential for almost limitless losses), Amazon's 1-Click Shopping patent (can we say "non-innovative"?), and the Eolas vs Microsoft case (this will fuck over all browsers from IE to Safari to Firefox to Konqueror while forcing Microsoft to seek defensive patents, and while giving Microsoft the excuse to use horrifying patent tricks like this themselves against OSS). As far as I'm concerned, the entire patent system (along with the copyright system, but that's another story) needs to be rethought or removed entirely. It is no longer benefiting the public, and as such the public should force their government to make a new set of rules.

Re:This is why patents suck (1)

Jay Random the Other (747333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364859)

Um. If the inventor isn't going to make any money from the deal, what's in it for him?

Re:This is why patents suck (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364894)

A higher chance to make money. Whether he actually does or not isn't guaranteed.

Re:This is why patents suck (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364889)

From Article 8 of the US constitution:
[The Congress shall have Power ] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
And an ipod is both a science AND a useful art!!!1!!1!!!!

Re:This is why patents suck (3, Insightful)

BFaucet (635036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364892)

Either way it was intended to promote innovation, not stifle it.

I really don't see how having a hierarchial menu could easily be avoided. Hierarchies have probably been the most common organizational structure for centuries. To patent it on portable audio devices sounds about as sensical as patenting plugging headphones into portable mp3 players.

There should be a "No shit, dingbat." clause in the patent requirements.

Re:This is why patents suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364899)

In other words, the point is to make money. If money wasn't the bottom line, what exactly would patents be "good" for?

Re:This is why patents suck (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364926)

I concur. Although I know nothing about the patent process (so this may be partially in effect as far as I know), companies shouldn't be allowed to sit on a "good idea" for years without using it, if they ever do. That would be slightly similar to the company making Tamaflu deciding "Ok, this hasn't hit critical proportions yet, so let's not sell it yet. Let's wait till it starts killing quite a few people, and selling the vaccine for $2000 a pop". Although that would be a case of waiting for the right time while non-used patents are just wating for the right accompanying technology, it's still withholding something that could be great from the people....

Re:This is why patents suck (1)

neersign (956437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364959)

comments like these (parent and parent of parent) pop up every time an article of this nature is posted. Please people, educate yourselves:

http://www.m-cam.com/~watsonj/usptohistory.html [m-cam.com]
http://www.ladas.com/Patents/USPatentHistory.html [ladas.com]
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode35/us c_sup_01_35.html [cornell.edu]

i could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Re:This is why patents suck (1)

Garabito (720521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364956)

the only way they can realistically defend themselves is to have a large patent library of thier own to countersue.

And that's true only if the other party also has an actual product on which you can sue. If you're being sued by a patent troll with no real products or services, you will have to settle or try to get the patent invalidated in court.

Cripple Fight!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364717)

Got get them, Tiger!

Good. (0, Flamebait)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364720)

Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

Re:Good. (1)

Roody Blashes (975889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364830)

That's probably the most insightful thing I've ever seen, only because it's true.

jeez what now? (1)

Stray1 (862245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364722)

Has anyone got the patent for the on-off switch? That seems to be the only thing that they are NOT suing each other about: someone call RCA.

Re:jeez what now? (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364782)

I can't speak for creative, but the iPod doesn't have an on/off switch.

Re:jeez what now? (1)

rcamera (517595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364979)

the shuffle has an on/off switch. does this not count?

Re:jeez what now? (1)

Bunch'a 4th Graders (822464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364992)

My Creative Zen Nano doesn't have an on/off switch either. You hold the play/pause button down. Wait, that's sounds familiar too...

So wait (3, Insightful)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364724)

If it was filed the same day, why are we finding out today? Is it more news-worthy that Apple is being sued or that Apple sues? My guess is the former.

Re:So wait (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364811)

Simple. Creative has been publically saying since at least December that they were planning to sue Apple for patent violations, and when they actually filed the lawsuit they put out a press release about they want the attention. Apple isn't making a big deal about their countersuit, since they've got a new sleek black laptop to get attention.

Probably because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364844)

..they got knowledge of the countersuit by snail-mail. It takes a couple of days. But it is stated in the notification when it was filed. Since they filed it the same day it means also that they were prepared for this and maybe even hoped to provoke the situation. Patent Wars, how amusing... :P

Tiny violins (5, Insightful)

Ravenscall (12240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364729)

So, Creative tried to play the patent bully game with Apple, and Apple turned the ship and broadsided them.

Serves them right. Get back to making products and selling them to make a profit.

Re:Tiny violins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364781)

Way to wrestle that metaphor to the ground.

Re:Tiny violins (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364931)

Get back to making products and selling them to make a profit.

That's a silly response. They still are, it's their lawyers that are suing apple, not their employees.

More, more, more (4, Interesting)

Britz (170620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364731)

Please, let the patent cold war already erupt into a huge patent suing everyone vs. everyone. I know you wouldn't like to see the lawyers take a couple billions away on this, but that will be the necessary sacrifice to make everybody see how bad trivial/software patents really are.

As soon as Sun sues Microsoft, Microsoft sues IBM and IBM sues them all I will sit back and have some popcorn (btw. do lawyers companies have stock options?).

Re:More, more, more (1)

Stray1 (862245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364760)

HEH, I love yer SIG. I too am waiting for the set courst dat of Everybody v. Everybody. Wait wasnt that a South Park Episode?

Re:More, more, more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364941)

(btw. do lawyers companies have stock options?)

IANAL, but I'm married to one. The answer to your question is no.

Re:More, more, more (5, Funny)

el cisne (135112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365097)

I say we take off, and litigate the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Won't Matter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364743)

iPod sales are plummeting. Other portable digital music player makers are fading away.

The future of portable digital music is with cellphones - no matter how much I hate them.

By the time this patent mess gets settled no one will be using the devices the two companies are quibling over anymore.

The world is ready to dump their iPods in the garbage for this device:

Cellphone
iPod quality interface
Wireless streaming of music library anywhere in the world to the device from your home server
Email, text messaging
GPS
Games
Streamlined web access
iTunes clone for software
Contact/calendar sync

Apple better make it or someone else will - especially with how badly the Intel Macs are doing.

Re:Won't Matter (3, Funny)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364817)

> The world is ready to dump their iPods in the garbage for this device:

But will it run Lin.. Windows Vista?

Re:Won't Matter (1)

kegger64 (653899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364856)

"Wireless streaming of music library anywhere in the world to the device from your home server"

No service provider will allow this when there's money to be made selling the music to their customers.

Re:Won't Matter (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364948)

Numerous attempts have been made to make mp3-playing phones, cellphone pda:s, cell phones that are gaming devices and a million other convergence devices. There are hundreds of 'camera phones' but none of them take decent pictures. The best way to get a good phone with a good mp3-player is STILL to tape a Nano to your razr.

Convergence devices suck. They have always sucked. There is always a new convergence device around the corner that reportedly won't suck. But it will. Get over it.

Re:Won't Matter (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365066)

I think you are off-base here. Yes, there are zillion cameraphones out there. Yes, their image-quality is not as good as on "real" cameras (but they are getting better). But that's not the point. Their purpose is not to replace cameras as such (although someone might decide not to buy a camera if he has a cameraphone). Their purpose is that the user will always have a camera with him. People don't usually walk around with cameras, but they have their phones with them all the time. Cameraphones are meant for those ad-hoc situations when you need to snap a picture. If you are attending a wedding, then you will propably use a proper camera instead.

And I do have one of those "cellphone-pda's" (Nokia 9300 Communicator). And I love the thing. Only marginally bigger than a phone, fits well in to my pocket, web-browser, push email, calendar, text-editor, ssh-client, QWERTY-keyboard... And it's also a very good phone! I just love the speakerphone on this thing :).

Re:Won't Matter (4, Insightful)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364986)

You know, no matter how many times I keep hearing people say that music-playing cellphones are the future and dedicated music players will become extinct, I just don't buy it. Personally, I'm not breathlessly waiting for some system where I can stream the music from my home computer; this would require that my cellphone is in an area where it gets service, and there are still places where that isn't the case, and it would require leaving my computer on all the time. Why exactly is this more convenient than having my music stored on my local music player? Battery life is also iffy enough as it is, what's it going to be like when streaming it over a wireless network connection?

I don't mean to be completely dismissive of it, as I'm sure that if someone did a really great device it might do most of what you say. But even if they do, which phone company is even going to want to offer this? They seem a lot more obsessed with charging $2-3 a song to download over the air.

Re:Won't Matter (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364997)

iPod sales are plummeting.

Where the hell did you get that?

In other news.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364752)

...the patent lawyers win again...

HA (5, Funny)

schabot (941087) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364754)

**SNAP!**

Why hasn't the RIAA sued Creative? (1)

scottsk (781208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364755)

Just too many lawsuits? The MuVo can already record radio broadcasts. Why hasn't the RIAA sued them? What will happen when every company has sued every other company?

Re:Why hasn't the RIAA sued Creative? (4, Funny)

faloi (738831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364779)

What will happen when every company has sued every other company?

I'll start regretting not going to law school.

Re:Why hasn't the RIAA sued Creative? (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364790)

The MuVo can already record radio broadcasts. Why hasn't the RIAA sued them?

Because RIAA doesn't have a patent on recording radio broadcasts, and the product has significant non-infringing uses.

Re:Why hasn't the RIAA sued Creative? (1)

ironring2006 (968941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365009)

The MuVo can already record radio broadcasts. Why hasn't the RIAA sued them?

Because RIAA doesn't have a patent on recording radio broadcasts, and the product has significant non-infringing uses.

Really? Tell that to XM [slashdot.org] .

Re:Why hasn't the RIAA sued Creative? (1)

crerwin (971247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365073)

Because RIAA doesn't have a patent on recording radio broadcasts, and the product has significant non-infringing uses.

Yeah, but they are a bunch of asswipes. I believe he was referring to this lawsuit [slashdot.org] , where the RIAA is suing XM for allowing time-shifting by selling XM receivers that record. It's a lawsuit over copyright, not patent. One which I've heard Sirius avoided by making a deal ahead of time to pay record companies a fee so they can sell their recording receivers. I'm not sure if that means that Sirius gave in, but either way I maintain my stance that the RIAA can go suck a railroad spike.

Re:Why hasn't the RIAA sued Creative? (1)

Sentri (910293) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364874)

_Perhaps_ people and companies will start taking responsibility for their own actions instead of kneejerk-sueing everyone

Hey, I was shot by the police while comitting a crime: SUE

Hey, Im a clumsy person and fell up the stairs in your suburb: SUE

Hey, I once had an idea, patented it but did nothing else with it and now you have come up with the same idea independently and made money from it: SUE

I dont like our overly-litigious societies

Re:Why hasn't the RIAA sued Creative? (2, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365012)

What will happen when every company has sued every other company?

There will be about 3 companies left, all cross-licensing everything with each other, and some extremely rich lawyers living on their own private island.

Unfortunately, there will be no further development of anything for fear of further litigation, so when a terrible disease starts to sweep through the population of lawyers, reasearch for a cure will be crippled, resulting in lawyers as a species dying out.

In millions of years, their skeletons will be found by a future generation to ponder over. Some will see it as evidence of Darwinian evolution; others will see it as evidence that even an omnipotent intelligent designer makes the odd mistake.

Well I never... (5, Insightful)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364756)

Creative proactively held discussions with Apple in our efforts to explore amicable solutions,' a spokesman for Creative said. 'At no time during these discussions or at any other time did Apple mention to us the patents it raised in its lawsuit.'

Fact number 2: At no time during the discussions were Creative proactively suing Apple.

Tiring (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364769)

Can we just the Your Rights Online section to Who's suing who?

Is this what it is coming to? (1)

boiledsoybeans (966673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364770)

Will (are?) all these companies snapping up patents just to protect themselves? One would have thought creative would have know better than to sue Apple.

Bet you... (3, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364772)

... they settle out of court, sign mutual patent cross-licensing, and then carve up the media player market between themselves.

There's enough their for all to wet their beaks.

Re:Bet you... (1)

brufar (926802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364908)

So true, that will most likely be the outcome.

The question is will both companies be bright enough to settle out of court before spending tons of money on legal fees and lawyers..

A Creative Lawsuit is as American as Apple Pie (3, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364773)

Creative needs to be more innovative and come up with products that sell like Apple's, otherwise they will just try creative lawsuits to make a profit.
Apple apparently has very good lawyers, people that try to sue them for a piece of the pie usually lose.
No more half-baked ideas on how to sue Apple, just get back to your core products and innovate!

In Soviet Russia, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15364788)

Apple sues...

I mean,

Creative sues...

crap.

Re:In Soviet Russia, (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365023)

Sue Creates an Apple? :-/

All I can say is.... (1)

Silmeria (972282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364789)

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Good riddance creative, you have just ruffled the feathers of the 10 pound gorillabird.

Mutually assured destruction (4, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364798)

There is a reason for defensive patents. Creative won't forget that again.

Re:Mutually assured destruction (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364878)

I'm surprised Creative didn't already know this, considering the huge patent portfolio they have on anything down to trivial algorithms for use in sound processing, with the intent of preventing anybody else playing in the sound card market.
Hopefully, the thing they may learn from this is NOT to sue everyone who appears defenceless, as a fair few of them, that may otherwise have let matters lie quietly, turn round and bite them hard.

The WMDs of the tech world have been found (5, Insightful)

picz (264520) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364812)

Patents are used as WMDs by the big tech corporations. If you have them, you can keep the others from using theirs to sue you into bankrupcy. If you don't have them, you are sitting duck.

Sometimes the doctrine fails and it looks like a patent war between desperate Creative and Apple.

Let's see if this ends as a minor WMD accident and a quick settlement in court, or if we will see a fullblown patent war between two of the big ones. /picz

Re:The WMDs of the tech world have been found (3, Interesting)

Jay Random the Other (747333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364887)

'Of course I've got lawyers. They are like nuclear weapons: I've got em 'cause everyone else has. But as soon as you use them they **** everything up.'

-- Danny DeVito in Other People's Money

Lawyers (2, Insightful)

simonjp (970013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364854)

Judging by the number of lawsuits cropping up recently, the only winners seem to be the lawyers who are lapping it up!

How about a penalty if you loose? (1)

webdog314 (960286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364857)

There needs to be something to keep this nonsense under control. A whopping fine if you sue and loose might be a decent enough incentive, and might make a few bucks for the government as well.

Re:How about a penalty if you loose? (1)

Darth Maul (19860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364880)

... if you loose what? What are we letting go?

Karma baby! (1)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364870)

Karma, it's a beutiful thing.

Re:Karma baby! (2, Funny)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364890)

I suppose I probably had that typo coming ;(

patent whining ..... (5, Interesting)

nblender (741424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364871)

The patent process is broken. But not the way I keep seeing described. A bunch of years ago I had an idea for a computer server add-on. It was a better way of solving a problem that Dell/HP/IBM weren't addressing at the time. We designed and built these things and over a couple of years, sold about 3000 of them. We even got slashdotted. We applied for a patent because we were afraid we'd be scooped. It took 4 years before the patent was approved and granted. By that time, Dell/HP/IBM and some smaller players all made their own version of our product and we went out of business. Now our technology features prominently on their web pages. We sent a few "you're violating our patent. Lets discuss licensing." letters, and received "oh yeah? We see your patent and raise you 1000 lawyers" responses and now we haven't got two nickles to rub together.

Now, with this new development, even if we did find a few nickles, since we're no longer an active business, we can't even go after these people because there's no rubber mallet to beat them with anymore ....

So don't bother innovating folks. You'll just get eaten alive.

Re:patent whining ..... (1)

pastafazou (648001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365082)

So sell your patent to someone who has the resources to sue HP/IBM/Dell.

Apple is acting like Microsoft (0)

griffse (873613) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364906)

Looks like Apple is trying to crush any smaller competitors. If the iPod is better they should just allow the competition. That would, of course, not be the American way these days. Someone should have patented the couch several years ago, it would be easier to choose when you buy furniture.

Bull (1)

Lord Duran (834815) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364946)

Apple would not have sued had Creative stayed silent. Creative should mind their own business and not blame their losses on patent infringement.

Re:Apple is acting like Microsoft (2, Insightful)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365010)

Creative is scum. they have played the lawsuit-game to crush smaller companies with better products (Aureal...). I for one would just LOVE to see Creative spanked in similar way.

What we have here is one company (Creative) that is unable to compete with their products against competitor, so they resort to lawsuits instead.

Re:Apple is acting like Microsoft (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365090)

Um they DID. The iPod is doing so well Creative can't compete. First they tried to blackmail them into paying them royalties for a patent Apple knew Creative couldnt back up, then they fired at Apple to force Apple to pay them for something that in all honesty should not have been patentable BY Creative (there is prior art out the ass on it) Apple is simply firing back at them for it. The truth is all that would happen if Creative won would be Creative would leave the market all together and live off the money Apple paid them for royalties. The other outcome though would be Creative would lose and likely leave the market having exhausted all their money on suing Apple. With Apple doing this Creative will just likely settle realizing that Apple has them beat.

just don't look (0, Offtopic)

SlashSquatch (928150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364907)

Hey, Springfield! Are you suffering from the heartbreak of...Monster-itis? Then take a tip from Mr. Paul Anka!

To stop those monsters, one-two-three,
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free.
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee...

I wish we had video of the 'discussions', (1)

pupdog311 (617396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364927)

Just so we could see Steve sitting there going 'You REALLY don't want to do that'... Or is that just the Hollywood-script-in-my-head version?

Tomorrow.... (1)

phlegmofdiscontent (459470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364965)

...The RIAA sues Apple (because the RIAA has been suing left & right and because Apple seems to be a target lately). They don't even need a reason, they could probably say "Just because...". Then Apple counter-sues the RIAA "because they're doodieheads".

Sick of Sue-Happiness (2, Insightful)

kstatefan40 (922281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365001)

Is anyone else sick of all this crap?

The reason Creative is in trouble is because the Ipods sell TONS more, because kids see an Ipod, and they want an Ipod themselves. They don't want a 'cheaper' Creative model. Hell, my Palm does 10x more than an Ipod, and I still hear "Well, my Ipod is cooler!"

Kids do not care about functionality or price, they care about what is cool. Trust me on this - I see it every day.

Honestly, I'm just sick of companies wasting money suing each other. Maybe if they would waste the money in their business, we wouldn't have all the outsourcing we do today. Does that make sense? I think it does.

Re:Sick of Sue-Happiness (1)

simonjp (970013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365094)

But does your palm have 80GB of memory :P
My PDA does more than iPods - and has a bigger screen than the video. Pity about the battery life though!

When history will be made (2, Interesting)

oztiks (921504) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365019)

The day a large corporation falls at the hands to a patent infringement case will be a day to remember.

At the moment its just like this big school yard fight and they give each others black eyes by hurling stones in the playground. Though, at the end of the day its the lawyers who are making the real money... the corporations just get the satisfaction of temporarily wounding a competitor.

The real loss is when companys get downsized as a result to these legal games and hardworking employees cop it in the ass.

aYOU FAIL iT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365031)

case you want* to but I'd rath3r hear It simple, Fly...don't fear and sling or table FreeBSD core team

Creative == SCO, hope they get crushed. (5, Interesting)

guidryp (702488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365045)

This is the same Creative that used patent extortion against ID software. These guys are one step removed from SCO. I launched my personal boycott of creative products that day.
http://3dgpu.com/archives/2004/07/28/john-carmack- on-creative-patentn/ [3dgpu.com]

Anyone using dubious patents to extort as a buisness model deserves to get crushed. I wish ID had played hardball against these slimeballs.

Can one of your "web 2.0 geniuses"..... (2, Interesting)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365083)

Can one of you Web 2.0 coding geniuses build an app which would give os a nive graphical representation of who is suing who? One where you can mouse over the arrow between the circles representing companies to see what the suit is over?

It would help make some sense of this, and we could look for patterns to bet on who would sue who next.

At this point I'm betting just in time for presedential elections in 2008 it will be bad enough that some candidate can use "I will reform patent law" as a campaign promise.

I'm confused (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365100)

Since when is it the patent holder's responsibility to warn others that they are infringing on their patents?
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