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Apple countersues Creative

Lawsuit alleges infringement of four iPod patents

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Apple has responded to Creative Technology's patent infringement allegations by claiming the MP3 player maker has violated its own intellectual property. It has filed a formal complaint against its rival in the Wisconsin District Court.

Creative's own complaint was filed Monday, 15 May, the same day Apple launched its countersuit. Creative alleges Apple's iPod incorporates technology outlined in one of its US patents, 6,928,433, without its permission.

Apple's suit claims much the same thing, though the Mac maker maintains Creative's digital music players infringe upon four patents it owns.

In a Bloomberg report on the matter, a Creative spokesman grumbled that Apple never mentioned any of this while the two companies were discussing a way around Apple's alleged infringement of Creative's patent. But why bring out the big guns to fire the opening salvo?

Analysts have bemoaned Creative's own lawsuit as a distraction that could impede attempts by the company's management to return it to profitability. That process isn't going to be helped by the need to fight Apple on a second front. ®

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