Apple reaches Creative resolution

Creative Technology has taken a $100 million bite out of Apple as a result of settled litigation over a patent dispute.

Last August, Creative was awarded a patent for the digital interface and file organization employed by various MP3 players - including Apple's iPod line. Last March, Creative sued Apple for infringing on its patented technology.

Apple today reported that it will pay Creative $100 million for a paid-up license to use Creative's patent in all Apple products. If Creative succeeds in licensing the patent to other companies, Apple will recoup an undisclosed amount of that settlement, according to a statement from Apple.

"Creative is very fortunate to have been granted this early patent," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, in the statement. "This settlement resolves all of our differences with Creative, including the five lawsuits currently pending between the companies, and removes the uncertainty and distraction of prolonged litigation."

Additionally, Apple announced today that Creative has joined its Made for iPod program.

Creative Chairman and COO Sim Wong Hoo foresees "significant new opportunities for Creative," now that it's participating in the Made for iPod program. "We are very excited about this new market opportunity for our speaker systems, our just-introduced line of earphones and headphones, and our future family of X-Fi audio enhancement products," he said in the statement.

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