Sound Card Rivals Declare Peace Due to Asian Financial Crisis

Singapore-based sound card market leader Creative Technology Ltd. and smaller rival Aztech Systems Ltd. have abandoned a six-year copyright and patent legal battle, because of pressures caused by the Asian financial crisis, the two companies recently announced.

Singapore-based sound card market leader Creative Technology Ltd. and smaller rival Aztech Systems Ltd. have abandoned a six-year copyright and patent legal battle, because of pressures caused by the Asian financial crisis, the two companies recently announced.

The legal battles behind the two companies date back to 1992 when Creative sued Aztech for copyright infringement relating to Creative's Sound Blaster cards. Although Aztech was initially cleared of any copyright infringement, Creative later won the case on appeal in November 1995. The shoe was on the other foot when Aztech filed a lawsuit in the U.S. in November of last year alleging patent infringement by Creative regarding Aztech's audio technology.

But as of now, the legal skirmishes between the two vendors are at an end.

"Given market changes and the macroeconomic issues now besetting Asia, further litigation of past issues between Creative and Aztech is not a good use of the resources of either company," said the two companies in a statement. "The parties have therefore, without changing past court decisions, settled all claims against each other and each other's directors and officers in the ongoing litigation between them in Singapore regarding the amount of Creative's damages, costs and fees," the statement said.

The companies said that the settlement terms were confidential, but "are to the parties' mutual satisfaction."

Creative Technology, based in Singapore, can be reached at +65-773-0223, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.creaf.com/.

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