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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Apple rival 'tries to ban iPods'
Creative MP3 players
Creative has been struggling to keep up with market leader Apple
Digital music player maker Creative Technology has asked a US court to ban Apple from selling or marketing its iconic iPods in the US.

Creative claims that the navigational menu used for finding and playing music on the iPod, violates its patent for its own Zen MP3 player.

It applied for the patent in 2001 which was granted in August 2005.

Since then it has been threatening legal action. The complaint was lodged at the San Francisco district court.

Import laws breach?

Last year Creative boss Sim Wong Hoo told the BBC he planned to "pursue aggressively" the US patent.

Through the court it is seeking an injunction and increased damages for what it says is a "wilful infringement of the Zen patent".

Creative said it had also filed a complaint to the US International Trade Commission, asking it to investigate whether Apple had breached import laws by selling iPods and the iPod Nano.

Apple's iPod music player
Apple's iPod continues to be fantastically popular

It claimed it had met with Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other representatives in 2001 to discuss ways the two companies to work together but had rejected Apple's proposals.

Nobody from Apple would comment on the legal action.

Market share

Creative has struggled against the market dominance of the iPod and earlier this month plunged into the red.

It blamed its $114m (62m) losses for the three months to March on the plunge in MP3 player prices and its need to get rid of stock.

But it pledged to return to profit in the second half of 2006, saying it was renewing its focus on high-margin products, such as computer sound cards.

Apple launched the iPod in 2001 and now has 72% of the US portable MP3 player market while Creative has less than 10%, according to research group NPD.


SEE ALSO:
Creative Technology reports loss
03 May 06 |  Business
Apple faces iPod patent dispute
08 Dec 05 |  Technology
Apple profits lead US tech icons
19 Apr 06 |  Business
Price pressure hurting Creative
26 Oct 05 |  Business
iPod helps Apple quadruple profit
12 Oct 05 |  Business
Apple unveils video-playing iPod
12 Oct 05 |  Technology
Creative wins MP3 player patent
30 Aug 05 |  Technology


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