Apple ups the ante in Creative lawsuit

— 5:46 PM on May 20, 2006

Apple has raised the heat in its patent infringement countersuit against Creative, upping the total number of patents it claims Creative violates from four to seven. The countersuit is in response to an earlier infringement lawsuit and injunction request filed by Creative, where the company accused Apple of violating a patent that covers hierarchical sorting of music in handheld players. TechWeb says the Apple patents Creative is alleged to violate are numbers 5,341,293, 5,479,602, 5,586,237, 5,799,280, 5,898,434, 6,047,342, and 6,731,312. All but one of these patents were filed in the 1990s—long before Creative's Zen patent—and include filings for a programmable user interface, content-based icons, an audio recording and display interface, and a media player interface. A patent strategist for Greenberg Traurig LLC told TechWeb Apple generally didn't file patent lawsuits, and that this legal attack was mainly a "defensive response" to pressure Creative into dropping its charges.

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