Creative wants to make Apple pay

Maker of rival MP3 players says it owns patent for iPod music navigation and plans to "pursue aggressively" royalties.

Creative Technology, maker of MP3 players, has indicated that it is expecting to earn royalties from rival Apple Computer.

Sim Wong Hoo, chief executive of Creative, told the BBC that he intends to "pursue aggressively" his company's U.S. patent on the navigation of music on MP3 or other audio players.

He added that Creative, which makes Zen music players, already is in talks with parties over the patent, which was awarded this August.

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"Hopefully this will be friendly, but people have to respect intellectual property," Sim said.

Creative is planning to grab royalty money from all music player manufacturers that use the same navigation system that it has patented, he added.

Apple, which has dominated the market for MP3 players, was hit by a number of patent problems this year.

A Hong Kong-based company, for example, claimed in March that it owns patents to the digital rights management software used on the iPod. Pat-rights sought 12 percent of Apple's iPod revenue.

Microsoft, meanwhile, managed to foil Apple's attempts to patent elements of its user interface.

Jo Best of reported from London.