Another day, another patent dispute. This time we have Creative going after pretty much every Android phone manufacturer over a patent it claims they all are infringing on.
Creative, who most of you might not recognize, isn’t really that much of a household name anymore. They make the Zen music players that I’m not sure anybody buys. That media player though is at the heart of their patent claim. The way all Android phones basically display their music files is in a hierarchy format, something that I don’t believe is some easy work around.
Because of this, the Singapore company has asked the US International Trade Commission to step in. The ITC will have to decide if the devices do indeed violate a patent and if so, if they need to be banned from sale. It should be noted that many moons ago, Creative went after Apple and received a tidy sum of around $100 million.
What to do then? Can the alleged offending companies change the way we view our MP3 files? Very doubtful. There is a small chance the ITC could tell Creative to shove off. What will likely happen? The Android manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony and HTC would end up paying a ridiculously high licensing fee to Creative.
That’s what this really boils down to, is money. With Creative no longer the brand to have, they must be hurting financially. This move is at a rather odd time in the life of Android run phones. They’ve been using the same display system as long as I can remember. If it was really about protecting a patent, they would have done it in the infancy of the movement. Now that everyone either owns an Apple device or Android, Creative sees dollar signs.
The good thing is that the ITC takes years to go through this process. That gives us plenty of time to buy the Galaxy S10, probably. As stated though, money will most likely change hands and we’ll see our phones increase in price.
What do you geeks think about all this? Is Creative being a troll for waiting so long? Do you feel they’re justified? Sound off below but please, don’t turn this into another Apple vs Android debate.