Apple’s Ipod Beaten by Creative Technology

Creative Technology said Tuesday it has been awarded a patent for a user interface found in its portable media players and in competing devices, such as Apple Computer’s iPod.

The digital entertainment company said that on Aug. 9 it received U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433, described as “automatic hierarchical categorization of music by metadata.” Creative applied for the patent–which it has dubbed the “Zen Patent,” named for its Zen music player–on Jan. 5, 2001, thirteen months before Apple did it.

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