Creative Technology And Apple Set To Duel Over MP3

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Creative Technology and Apple are set to go head to head in front of the U.S. International Trade Commission over who owns what in MP3 technology.

MP3 player maker Creative Technology announced on Wednesday that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has answered its complaint and will launch an investigation into Apple’s possible infringement of its MP3 player patent.

Creative filed the ITC complaint in May, at the same time it sued Apple in federal court for infringement of its “ZEN Patent,” which covers the user interface design on its Creative Nomad and Zen MP3 players. The complaint seeks an injunction against the import of Apple’s iPods from the company’s Asian manufacturers; the separate lawsuit seeks additional damages. Apple, for its part, has filed two countersuits against Creative, alleging the company’s MP3 players infringe on several of Apple’s patents.

The ITC will likely hold an evidentiary hearing on Creative’s complaint within the next eight months, and offer a ruling within a year to fifteen months.

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