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June 11, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:08pm

CREATIVE CLAIMS DASHED IN COURT; CYRIX, COMPAQ IN THE CLEAR

By CBR Staff Writer

Creative Technology Inc’s claims against Cyrix Corp and its OEM manufacturers, notably Compaq Computer Corp, have been dealt a severe blow by the US District Court in Northern California. The court ruled that Creative cannot stop the use of a controversial Windows 95 audio driver in computer systems based on Cyrix’s MediaGX processor. Creative alleges that the driver in question falsely identifies the MediaGX-based systems as compatible with Sound Blaster, a Creative product, and thus accuses the chipmaker of false advertising and trademark infringement. The court found that the driver was written by Creative in such a way as to cause the reference, and Creative therefore bore a significant portion of the responsibility for the references. In the ruling, Creative is encouraged to correct the problem by supplying Cyrix with a de-labeled driver – one that makes no reference to Creative – but must foot the bill itself. When the new driver is supplied, Cyrix would then have 60 days to test it and qualify it as functionally equivalent to the current one. Compaq, whose Presario 2100 contained the problematic chipset, has been given the same right to a no-cost replacement driver. Creative first filed suit against Cyrix and certain OEM distributors back in March (CI No 3,122), and it seemed that things were going Creative’s way when the court had given credence to the false advertising claims by issuing a preliminary injunction in April (CI No 3,131) which called for Cyrix to stop shipping chipsets and motherboards that contained the confusing reference.

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