Apple Settles With Creative for $100 Million

Dennis Faas's picture

Next to Apple, Creative is one of the most recognizable names in the Mp3 player industry.

As a result of a patent dispute between Apple and Creative over a music player interface, the two companies have settled with a number of conditions. Today, thanks to their competitor, Creative is $100 million richer.

During August of 2005, Creative was awarded a patent for a unique digital music setup. According to a press release at the time, Creative described the patent as a tool that "enables selection of at least one track in a portable media player as a user sequentially navigates through a hierarchy using three or more successive screens on the display of the player."

In essence, it's multi-tasking on an Mp3 player. (Source:

Over the course of the winter and spring of this past year, Creative grew frustrated with Apple's infringment on that patent and filed suit in May. After just a few months of investigating the issue, Apple decided to own up $100 million for its actions.

But who really wins?

It's appearing less and less like the $100 million is a bonus for Creative. Although Apple CEO Steve Jobs slyly assured the media that "Creative is very fortunate to have been granted this early patent," but the opposite might be true. The $100 million settlement is laden with conditions, and essentially wipes out the original patent exclusively held by Creative last August. (Source:

In addition, if Creative is able to license its wares with another manufacturer, Apple will be reiumbursed for the settlement. (Source:

As a result, Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo very smugly referred to the settlement as "amicable." (Source:

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