The “Zen Patent”: Creative Sues Apple Over Media Player Interface

This is the last-ditch effort from a company on its way down the toilet. They’ve lost in the battle for customers, and they’ve lost in the stock market (Creative’s stock is at a 4-year low). In spirit, this lawsuit reminds me of Apple’s doomed “look and feel” suit against Microsoft in the early 1990’s, when they decided to fight the rise of Windows through litigation instead of innovation.

My gut feeling is that Apple feels confident they will win this suit; if they were unsure, I think they would have settled. (It’s possible, though, that Apple tried to settle and Creative held out for too much money.) The iPod almost certainly does violate the patent; the problem is that this patent never should have been issued — it’s way too broad and way too obvious.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006