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Creative Wants To Ban Most Android Phones From US Over Alleged Patent Infringement

Creative is not a name you hear as often in consumer electronics these days. The Singapore-based firm is known for making audio products, including the Zen line of media players. Creative has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that basically every maker of Android phones is infringing its Zen patents by displaying your music. It wants them all banned, but what it really wants is money.

The complaint targets ZTE, Sony, Samsung, LG, Lenovo, Motorola, HTC, and BlackBerry. At issue is how everyone shows you songs and albums in a hierarchical menu system, which Creative says it invented. It went after Apple for the same thing a decade ago and eventually got a $100 million settlement. If the ITC agrees with Creative, it could lead to a ban on infringing devices, which would be a lot of phones.

This probably isn’t the sort of patent that can be designed around. Creative is banking on some targets of the action just paying up to license the patents rather than risk having products blocked from the US. However, the ITC takes a long time to act. There might not be any impact for years.

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