Intertrust, a joint venture between Philips and Sony, has filed a patent infringement suit against Apple, asserting 15 patents against the company’s range of devices and services, as first noted by The Wall Street Journal.

Founded independently in 1990, Intertrust was acquired by Philips and Sony in 2003. The company specializes in digital restrictions management (DRM) and trusted computing intellectual property.

“Apple makes many great products that use Intertrust’s inventions,” Intertrust CEO Talal Shamoon said in a statement. “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.”

The iPhone and the iPad, Macs, Apple TV, iTunes, iCloud and the App Store are all targeted in the lawsuit. Intertrust is influential in the certification of the Marlin DRM open standard.

The suit alleges that Apple makes use of Intertrust’s technologies “at virtually every level of its consumer electronics enterprise”.

Intertrust says it has a “long history” of licensing its patents to others, including Microsoft, Adobe, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, LG and Vodafone. It boasts over 250 patents and more than 200 pending applications.

If Apple does decide to settle for a license, it might not come cheap. In 2004, Intertrust settled a complaint against Microsoft, receiving a one-time payment of $440 million.

Apple is currently defending itself against numerous lawsuits. Its legal spat with Samsung spans several continents, while the iPhone maker also faces complaints from consumers and companies alike.

Here’s the list of Intertrust patents mentioned in the complaint:

  • US Patent No. 5,892,900: Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection
  • US Patent No. 5,915,019: Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection
  • US Patent No. 5,917,912: System and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection
  • US Patent No. 5,920,861: Techniques for defining using and manipulating rights management data structures
  • US Patent No. 5,949,876: Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection
  • US Patent No. 5,982,891: Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection
  • US Patent No. 6,112,181: Systems and methods for matching, selecting, narrowcasting, and/or classifying based on rights management and/or other information
  • US Patent No. 6,157,721: Systems and methods using cryptography to protect secure computing environments
  • US Patent No. 6,185,683: Trusted and secure techniques, systems and methods for item delivery and execution
  • US Patent No. 6,253,193: Systems and methods for the secure transaction management and electronic rights protection
  • US Patent No. 7,392,395: Trusted and secure techniques, systems and methods for item delivery and execution
  • US Patent No. 7,734,553: Systems and methods using cryptography to protect secure computing environments
  • US Patent No. 7,761,916: Systems and methods using cryptography to protect secure computing environments
  • US Patent No. 8,191,157: Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection
  • US Patent No. 8,191,158: Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection

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