Creative technology has been awarded a patent in the United States for a digital interface used on digital music players.
The patent covers technology which arranges and organises digital files which are navigated through a hierarchy using three of more successive screens.
Creative technology has up until now been squeezed out of the marketplace by main rivals Apple. Apple currently occupies 80% of the MP3 market. However, Creative hope that the patent will increase their sales after the new technology has been fully implemented.
There also exists the possibility that Creative Technology will be able to claim royalties from Apple as their products may now infringe the patent.
This incident outlines the importance of patent protection and must have apple worried. If the technology which Creative now holds the exclusive rights in is important to the functioning of the MP3 player then Creative Technology now holds a very strong hand.