(reg. req.) If this happens, it will be a sad commentary on the state of affairs of the digital music industry, unable to compete with iPod. Creative Technology said it had been awarded a patent for technology used in the iPod – which means the rival manufacturer of digital music players might hit Apple up for hefty royalty payments on every iPod sold.
Creative’s patent, awarded Aug. 5, covers the interface that lets users scroll through screens and choose which songs to play, said Craig McHugh, president of Creative Labs, the U.S. unit of Creative, which is based in Singapore. “We’re openly looking at all of our alternatives,” McHugh said. “A patent protects your intellectual property, and we’d be very open to discussing with other companies who would like to use our user interface in their products or future products.”