It has become the iconic symbol of digital music, but the iPod's reign could be about to end if the latest case brought against its makers Apple, succeeds.
Creative, the no. 2 MP3 player manufacturer in the market and one of Apple's major competitors has filed a law suit against Apple for infringing its User Interface patent it won in August Last year.
Following his word, Mr Sim Wong Hoo, as promised in an interview with Pocket-lint last December, has confirmed that Creative would be acting on the US patent office's decision to award it with the patent for the user interface.
“Creative might be number two in the MP3 player market, but we are number one in the user interface market”, said Mr Sim in the interview with Pocket-lint in December at the launch of its Zen Vision:M player. “I am okay with how many players they [Apple] sell because I will make money in the end.”
When asked whether he would act on the US patent, Mr Sim responded with a smile with the words “Of course”.
Six months on, and Creative is seeking an exclusion order and cease and desist order against Apple.
The orders sought would prohibit Apple from engaging in sales, marketing, importation or sale after importation into the United States, or other infringing activities in the United States with regard to the infringing iPod and iPod nano products.
Creative also filed a lawsuit today against Apple in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California that seeks an injunction and increased damages for Apple's wilful infringement of the Zen Patent.
The United States Patent Office issued the Zen Patent to Creative on August 9, 2005 for its invention of the user interface used by most portable digital media players, including many of the Creative Zen and NOMAD Jukebox MP3 players and competing players such as the iPod, iPod nano and iPod mini.
Surprisingly the company isn't suiting Apple for labelling its flash based player with the same nano name.
If such a ruling went in favour of Creative, it would signal the end of the iPod making it illegal to be sold in America.
A recent estimate suggested that every other MP3 player was an iPod with the company dominating the market with around 80 per cent share.