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Tux Machines (TM)-specific
One of Apple's main rivals, Creative Technology, has been awarded a patent for the interface used on many digital music players.
Creative said the patent applied to its players, as well as some competing products such as the Apple's iPod and iPod mini.
The patent covers how files on a music player are organised.
Creative was one of the first companies to produce MP3 players but has lost out to Apple which dominates the market.
The Creative announcement is the latest salvo in its self-declared war against Apple.
In November, Creative boss Sim Wong Hoo said he aimed to out market his competitors, saying the MP3 war had started.
Apple's iPod is estimated to account for 80% of sales of digital music players which use hard drives to store music.