Apple counter sues Creative

— 2:51 AM on May 19, 2006

Just two days after Creative filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple for alleged violation of the "Zen patent," Apple has hit Creative with a surprise countersuit. Apple says Creative's portable music players infringe on no fewer than four of its patents, although it's unclear specifically what the patents are. Nonetheless, a Creative spokesman contacted by Bloomberg was none too happy about Apple's move:

"Creative proactively held discussions with Apple in our efforts to explore amicable solutions," Phil O'Shaughnessy, 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."
Along with its patent infringement lawsuit, Creative is also seeking an injunction from the US International Trade Commission that would prohibit imports and sales of Apple's iPods. The Herald Tribune says the lawsuit may be put on hold while the injunction case is heard, but Apple's countersuit promises to add an interesting twist to the legal dispute.
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