has received a patent related to digital music players that may have a bearing on
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office granted Creative a patent earlier this month covering its method of organizing files within a digital music player. Creative's patent involves a system for organizing files within three or more classifications, including song title, album and artist, and provides a user interface to navigate that organization system.
Creative has used the patented system in its Zen and Nomad line of players. But the company asserted in a statement that other companies, including Apple, have used the system in their rival products. Apple was recently denied a patent for a similar digital music file system.
Creative did not say in the statement whether it planned to pursue royalties from Apple or other competitors. But Apple will likely be a ripe target, considering that its iPod players accounted for about 73% of the digital music players shipped in the U.S. in the first half of this year.
Representatives for Apple and Creative did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Apple already faces a lawsuit filed earlier this year alleging that the company infringed on a separate patent covering digital music players or "jukeboxes."
Shares of Apple closed regular trading up 73 cents, or 1.6%, to $46.57, while Creative's stock closed up 19 cents, or 2.5%, to $7.94.