Creative vs Aureal
The history of Aureal isn't all success stories, their entry into the Audio market was almost immediately hindered with frivolous lawsuits coming from Creative Labs.
Wikipedia has a nice summary of what happened between these two companies:
The firm had maintained a strong foothold in the EISA PC audio market until July 14, 1997 when Aureal Semiconductor entered the soundcard market with their very competitive PCI AU8820 Vortex 3D sound technology. The firm at the time was in development of their own in house PCI audio cards but were finding little success adopting to the PCI standard. In January 1998 in order to quickly facilitate a working PCI audio technology, the firm made the acquisition of Ensoniq for US$77 million. On March 5, 1998 the firm sued Aureal with patent infringement claims over a MIDI caching technology held by E-mu Systems. Aureal filed a counterclaim stating the firm was intentionally interfering with its business prospects, had defamed them, commercially disparaged, engaged in unfair competition with intent to slow down Aureals sales and acted fraudulently. The suit had come only days after Aureal gained a fair market with the AU8820 Vortex1.
In August 1998 the Sound Blaster Live! was the firm's first sound card developed for the PCI bus in order to compete with upcoming Aureal AU8830 Vortex2 sound chip. Aureal at this time were making fliers comparing their new AU8830 chips to the now shipping Sound Blaster Live!. The specifications within these fliers comparing the AU8830 to the Sound Blaster Live! EMU10K1 chip sparked another flurry of lawsuits against Aureal, this time claiming Aureal had falsely advertised the Sound Blaster Live!'s capabilities.
In December 1999 after numerous lawsuits, Aureal won a favorable ruling but went bankrupt as a result of legal costs and their investors pulling out. Their assets were acquired by Creative through the bankruptcy court in September 2000 for US$32 million. The firm had in effect removed their only major direct competitor in the 3D gaming audio market, excluding their later acquisition of Sensaura."
We personally feel that the demise of Aureal lead to a long stagnation and interest in real time 3D audio. Thanks to the push of VR headsets, 3D audio has gotten some more much needed focus.