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Aureal vs Creative

When the Sound Blaster Live! hit the shelves, Aureal and Creative started a war in the courts to prevent each other's products from being sold. During the course, the tension has risen. Both sides have each have added more and more lawsuits into the mix, mostly by digging up their patents and accusing one another of misrepresenting their products.

On 21st September 2000, it was announced that Creative has acquired all remaining assets of Aureal, after the company filed for bankruptcy.


Timeline

5 March 1998
Aureal: Aureal And Creative Engage In Legal Skirmish

Aureal announced the lawsuit by Creative. This lawsuit started it all.

9 March 1998
Creative: Creative Files Patent Lawsuit Relating To PCI Audio Technology

Creative announces the lawsuit and acknowledges Aureal's press release 4 days later.

6 April 1998
Aureal: Aureal Files Counterclaims Against Creative Technology

20 August 1998
Aureal: Aureal / Creative Technology Litigation Update

30 September 1998
Creative: Creative Files False Advertising and Other Claims Against Aureal

Creative files the 2nd lawsuit, disputing the statements made by Aureal on the Sound Blaster Live! products.

1 October 1998
Aureal: Aureal Issues Challenge to Creative Labs

Aureal claims the 2nd lawsuit is without merit and chooses the marketplace, instead of the courtroom to compete.

29 October 1998
Aureal: Creative Labs Loses Bid For Preliminary Injunction Against Aureal Semiconductor

Aureal announced that Creative has failed to stop the Aureal Vortex products from shipping.

29 October 1998
Creative: Creative Technology Patent Case Against Aureal Proceeds to Trial

8 December 1998
Creative: Creative Technology Responds to Newly Asserted Aureal Patent Claims

8 December 1998
Aureal: Aureal Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Creative

Here, Aureal fires the 3rd lawsuit using 2 of their 3D audio positioning patents against Creative.

10 December 1998
Aureal: Aureal Welcomes Creative Labs to Competitive Marketplace

Aureal takes a dig at Creative by "congratulating" their "late" entry into the PCI audio market.

There was nothing much for the first 11 months of 1999. Its amazing how quiet it has been.

10 December 1999
Creative: Creative Patent Lawsuit Against Aureal Finds Patent Valid And Enforceable While Finding Non-Infringement

One year later, the lawsuit is heard. Basically, Creative loses the lawsuit but the patent is still valid. The title of this press release sounds nicer. <g>

13 December 1999
Aureal: Creative Technology Loses Patent Lawsuit Against Aureal Inc.

Aureal claims victory, and isn't surprised that Creative will appeal.

News Article
EBN: Legal issues remain between Creative Technology, Aureal

Commentary
Vortex of Sound: Aureal / Creative Lawsuit Summary and Commentary

This article provides interesting insights into the lawsuit. This included some information on Creative's technology, and how they were late to the PCI sound card market and had to purchase Ensoniq for the PCI technology that they needed badly. Also one of the Creative staff mentioned that Creative had maintained the same high price of a product for 3 consecutive Christmases.

21 September 2000
CNET: Creative Technology buys rival for $32 million
Creative: Creative's Purchase of Aureal's Assets Approved

Creative has acquired Aureal Semiconductor (or what's left of it) for $32 million. The purchase include patents, trademarks and other intellectual property, effectively ending the courtroom battles between both parties. More information and coverage of the saga is available at Vortex of Sound.


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