Patent News : Creative mp3 Player Interface Patent
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Creative mp3 Player Interface Patent > > > < < <


Automatic hierarchical categorization of music by metadata

Internet-related because a large portion of the music is bought/downloaded/shared over the internet.

This patent dates back to 1999 and was used in a fight against Apple:

Examining the first claim

1. A method of selecting at least one track from a plurality of tracks stored in a computer-readable medium of a portable media player configured to present sequentially a first, second, and third display screen on the display of the media player, the plurality of tracks accessed according to a hierarchy, the hierarchy having a plurality of categories, subcategories, and items respectively in a first, second, and third level of the hierarchy, the method comprising: selecting a category in the first display screen of the portable media player; displaying the subcategories belonging to the selected category in a listing presented in the second display screen; selecting a subcategory in the second display screen; displaying the items belonging to the selected subcategory in a listing presented in the third display screen; and accessing at least one track based on a selection made in one of the display screens. "

In Creative's Scotts Valley California facility, Creative' engineers invented the user interface covered by the Zen Patent to address the challenges of convenient organization and access of songs on high-capacity portable digital media players. Creative subsequently implemented its now-patented interface on its NOMAD Jukebox player, which was announced and presented as a functioning prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2000. The user interface covered by the Zen Patent has since been implemented in a variety of Creative players including Creative Zen.

We'll see how this one plays out but in a few years after the dust settles my money is on that Apple will be in big trouble. Why you ask? Because if Creative showed this off in 2000 they most likely came up with it at least 1999 and the important part of the patent is the interface (not a portable mp3 player).

The settlement from this patent could easily be in the hundreds of millions of $dollars.

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