Trade Commission probe against Apple goes ahead

It looks like Apple's patent infringement counter-attack against Creative has thus far been ineffective. As a result of Creative's injunction filing in May, the U.S. International Trade Commission has finally kicked off its investigation into Apple's alleged violation of the "Zen patent"—at least, that's what Creative says. The company is apparently eager to let the press know its legal proceedings are still underway, perhaps because Apple's seven-patent infringement countersuit against Creative has been stealing all the headlines lately.

Last month, Creative demanded a ban on iPods due to their alleged violation of the "Zen patent," which deals with hierarchical sorting of music on handheld players. Apple quickly struck back by claiming Creative's music players violate no less than seven Apple patents. Apple has also demanded that the International Trade Commission ban Creative's MP3 players, seemingly giving Creative a pretty good incentive to attempt to negotiate with Apple. After today's report, though, Creative appears to have no intention of backing down.

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