Creative owns a U.S. patent for a menu navigation system for digital devices, and has pledged to ensure that all manufacturers that use the navigation system respect its patent. This could well mean that Apple will become a legal target for the company, since the popular iPod MP3 player clearly falls under this category. Creative’s Zen MP3 player has struggled for attention in a market dominated by Apple’s iPod.

Back in August, Creative announced that it had been awarded U.S. Patent 6,928,433, which the company calls the Zen Patent. In its announcement the company said the patented technology can be found in its own Zen and Nomad MP3 players and rival players such as the iPod.

Creative said it applied for the patent in January 2001 and was finally awarded the patent in August 2005.