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Apple to Pay $100M to Settle 5 Lawsuits
Aug 24, 2006
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Apple Computer Inc.'s agreement to pay $100 million to rival Creative Technology Ltd. settled five patent lawsuits over iPod technology that had threatened to block imports of the digital music player, which are manufactured abroad.

The lawsuits centered around Creative's claim that iPods infringed on its patent for a navigation system used to organize and access music on its Zen music players.

The settlement, according to a Reuters report, allows Apple to recoup a portion of its payment if other electronics companies license Singapore-based Creative's technology.

In June, the U.S. International Trade Commission agreed to investigate whether Apple's iPod infringes on one of Creative's patents. Creative also filed a federal lawsuit over the same allegations.

If the federal agency had sided with Creative and approved the ban, Apple would have been unable to import the company's most popular product to the world's largest consumer market.

In the 3months that ended July 1, Apple shipped 8.1 million iPods, up more than 32-percent jump from the 2005 fiscal third quarter. iPods outsell Apple computers by nearly an eight-to-one ratio, a significant contributor to the company's quarterly profit of U.S. $472 million and $4.37 billion in revenue.

In court documents, Apple maintained no wrongdoing and subsequently filed two patent-infringement countersuits against Creative, which also were settled.

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