Creative makes claim of having patent on iPod technology


On Tuesday Creative Technology made a claim that they have a patent on technology that Apple’s iPod uses. They’ve yet to say if they will be filling suit but technology lawyers believe it to be almost certain that they will.

Creative said the patent covers the way music tracks are selected on a device using a hierarchy of three or more successive screens. On the iPod, for instance, users can scroll from artists to albums to songs. According to Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative, their company shipped one of their players using the technology over a year before the iPod was released.


Gareth Potter

I’m trying to cast my mind back to the time of the launch of the iPod and remember what Creative were offering at that time. As I recall, their effort resembled a CD player, and certainly didn’t have a sufficiently large screen to enable (decent) hierarchical menu selection – I think it was a primitive MiniDisc-style two line LCD matrix affair (although if anyone wants to step up and prove me wrong, feel free).

It is, of course, this that I find so absurd. Apple, it is clear, spent a very significant amount of money bringing the iPod to market, and has continued to evolve it since its first incarnation (although, and now seems like a good place to add it, I consider the 2G iPods to be the high point, both from a design and a reliability perspective, and the touch-sensitive buttons of the 3G a low). They have certainly given the impression of being a market leader, head and shoulders above the rest. Creative is just one of the many also-rans.

So why on earth do they have a patent on hierarchical navigation? It makes no sense.

Patrick Weber

I should sue because I own the patents for ‘mp3 player’ or ‘music player’.. or heck while im at it.. my ipod says ‘Patrick!’

They are using my name!! bahh!!

Sounds like creative is angry because their product is inferior to the ipod.. last stand anyone?


This is exactly why software patents are just plain stupid. Wow, hierarchical menus, how original. Nobody’s ever done that before.

Obviously, Apple will take this one down in court. But, seriously, Apple should do the world a favor and just buy Creative and just euthanize it.

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