About a year ago, Creative Technologies, who had struggled competing against Apple's iPod in the market place, announced that it had a patent on the basic interface of a digital music player and planned to aggressively go after Apple -- which is exactly what they did. Since patent stockpiling is the equivalent of nuclear stockpiling, Apple did exactly what you'd expect and sued Creative back for violating a bunch of their own patents. It's not clear what this has to do with innovation, but after sifting through the various patents and adding up the expected legal fees, it looks like Apple has just decided to pay $100 million to make the whole thing go away. Again, this seems to be about rewarding the loser in the marketplace. Creative failed to make a music device that the market liked as much as Apple's -- suggesting that, for whatever innovation they had created, it wasn't what drove the market. And, for that, they get to take $100 million from the company who did successfully figure out what the market wants.
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