Apple Sued for Distributed Trust and Security Patent Infringement

A company called Intertrust Technologies has filed a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. Federal Court in the Northern District of California alleging the Cupertino outfit infringed on more than a dozen patents. Intertrust's lawsuit lists several Apple products and services, including iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad, Mac systems, Apple TV, iTunes, iCloud, and even the company's App Store.

"Apple makes many great products that use Intertrust’s inventions," said Talal Shamoon, Intertrust’s chief executive officer. "Our patents are foundational to modern Internet security and trusted computing, and result from years of internal research and development. We are proud of our record of peaceful and constructive licensing with industry leaders. We find it regrettable that we are forced to seek Court assistance to resolve this matter."

Apple Store

Intertrust, which is mostly owned by Sony and Philips, has been doing business since 1990 and currently employs around 100 people, many of which are engineers specializing in digital rights management (DRM), software security, consumer privacy protection, trusted big data for DNA sequencing, and smart grid energy data management. Several big name companies license technologies from Intertrust, including Adobe, HTC, LG, Microsoft, Motorola, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Vodafone, and others.

This isn't just another case of a patent troll looking to litigate its way to riches. According to a report in The New York Times, litigation is the exception and not the norm at Intertrust, which previously only sued one other company, Microsoft, in 2004.