First it was Creative sueing Apple, now Apple has called in the lawyers to sue Creative.

Creative may have opened a can of worms with its lawsuit against rival Apple. On the same day it sued the Cupertino company over the so-called “Zen Patent,” Apple countersued in a Wisconsin District Court claiming Creative’s digital players infringe on four of its own patents. Apple holds nearly an 8-to-1 margin in sales of its player over its smaller rival.

While Creative remained tight-lipped about its own suit, it said it was shocked by the countersuit by Apple. “Creative proactively held discussions with Apple in our efforts to explore amicable solutions,” Phil O’Shaughnessy, a spokesman for Creative, told the International Herald Tribune. “At no time during these discussions or at any other time did Apple mention to us the patents it raised in its lawsuit.”

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