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Apple sued on patent infringement claim

Apple are being sued by Intertrust Technologies Corp, a leader in digital copyright protection. They are alleging patent infringement on 15 of Intertrust patents.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the suit against Apple covers a lot of products, including the iPad, iPhone, computers and laptops, Apple TV and even services such as iTunes, iCloud and The App Store.

The WSJ add “The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, would seem to pale in importance behind Apple’s other legal battles, including a patent struggle against mobile-device rival Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE -0.21% in several  jurisdictions. But Intertrust has influential backers. Sony Corp. 6758.TO +1.75% and Royal Philips Electronics NV PHIA.AE +0.19% each holds a 49.5% stake in the company, which was publicly traded from 1999 to 2003.

Microsoft Corp. MSFT +0.48% in 2004 agreed to pay Intertrust $440 million to settle a broad patent-infringement suit.

Talal Shamoon

Intertrust products include a technology called Marlin for digital content protection, said it has licensed its software or patents to large electronics companies, including Samsung, Nokia Corp., Fujitsu Ltd.,  HTC Corp.
and Huawei Technologies Inc.”

Intertrust have filed a 44 page complaint claiming their patents are fundamental in guarding systems against computer hackers and that they protect against “many kinds of electronic transactions, including transferring protected digital content between multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, desktop and laptop PCs. The suit alleges that virtually all Apple products use Intertrust’s technologies, including mobile devices that use the iOS operating system and distribute application software through Apple’s App store.”

Intertrust Chief Executive Talal Shamoon said they held some discussions with Apple starting in 2005 so this situation would never happen. He said “We try to settle everything peaceably. This is not something I did willingly.”

Kitguru says: This will be an interesting one to watch because if Apple lose, the payment could be very substantial.

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