Apple Violating Creative Software Patent
My opinion on this type of action by Creative is that if you have to resort to suing people in order to keep your company afloat, then you probably shouldn't continue to be in business. I like Creative's Zen music player. I choose to use the iPod because of the incredible integration with the Apple Music Store as well as the amazing interface of the iPod. The Creative Zen player wasn't even out when the iPod was released with it's revolutionary scroll-wheel design. It doesn't make any sense that they would have grounds to sue Apple over it's interface.
I can see suing if someone at Creative showed Apple a potential design in order to form some sort of relationship, but that strikes me as extremely improbable. Before the iPod Creative was making it's behemoth, portable CD player shaped, Nomad. This player was incredible at the time because of it's capacity, however it's interface was not extremely different than a standard CD player's. Navagation was accomplished by several buttons and was less than intuitive. Still, at the time this was the best player around. When it was released, there was no viable legal music download outlet. Everyone was still using Napster and the like. The Nomad was cool, but it was really big and wasn't the best MP3 player to run with. For that the Rio music player was probably the best. When Apple entered the market, there was nothing that was even remotely like the iPod. Therefore to try to sue them over something they clearly released first is absurd. Shame on Creative for trying to steal money from Apple, or I am assuming they hope to stop Apple from producing the iPod without paying royalties to Creative.
The biggest question this brings up is, how did Apple fail to recieve the patent for the iPod's interface where Creative succeeded? If you ask anyone who knows, it is clear that Apple's player was the first with the type of interface we all know and love. The click-wheel interface introduced with the mini was even more revolutionary. The patent office should try to look at the bigger picture, like the supreme court does when dealing with anti-trust legislation. If Creative wins their inevatible lawsuit against Apple, consumers will be hurt with either higher prices for the iPod, or worse yet, Apple being forced to change the interface to get around the patent. Let's hope Apple wins this one.