Apple and Creative Technology said Wednesday that they have settled all outstanding litigation between them, with Apple paying Creative $100 million for the use of a key patent.Yes, you read right - ONE HUNDRED MILLION $DOLLARS$
As a result, Creative will become a "Made For iPod" program partner, and the company said it plans a line of Apple iPod accessory products later this year. Interestingly, Apple can also recoup part of the Creative patent settlement if Creative is successful in licensing the patent to others.
The agreement settles all five outstanding suits between the two companies, the most recent of which were filed in May and June of this year and concerned several audio-related patents. The most important, the so-called "Zen" patent, involved the software menus used to find and play back music on portable music players.
"Creative is very fortunate to have been granted this early patent," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, in a statement. "This settlement resolves all of our differences with Creative, including the five lawsuits currently pending between the companies, and removes the uncertainty and distraction of prolonged litigation."