Apple Computer said Wednesday that it would pay a one-time $100 million licensing fee to use Creative Technologyâ€™s patented music player technology, settling a string of recent legal disputes between the two companies.
[…] Mike McGuire, vice president for research on mobile devices at Gartner, the technology analysis and consulting firm, said an Apple endorsement for its line of iPod accessories most likely gave Creative incentive to settle.
[…] The Creative patent, which the company calls the Zen patent for its line of digital audio players, covers the interface that allows users to select a song, album or track by navigating a succession of menus.
“From the point of view of Creative, their bitterness stems from the fact that when they approached Apple, they were arrogantly dismissive” about licensing their technology, said Phil Leigh, senior analyst with Inside Digital Media Inc., a Tampa-based market research firm. “Apple’s point of view on this is, ‘These guys are patent trolls,’ ” who are profiteering off of the technology patent process, he said.