US technology firm Intertrust has accused Apple of patent infringement, suggesting its hardware and software illegally uses its security technology.
Intertrust reported mounting the action against Apple at the US Federal Court in the Northern District of California late on Wednesday.
The suit alleges that Apple products and services infringe on 15 security and distributed trusted computing Intertrust patents.
The patents refer to technologies used in the iPhone and iPad, Mac computers and laptops, Apple TV and iTunes, iCloud and Apple App Store services.
“Apple makes many great products that use Intertrust’s inventions,” said Intertrust chief executive Talal Shamoon.
“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.”
At the time of publishing, Apple had not responded to V3‘s request for comment on Intertrust’s accusations.
Intertrust was founded in 1990 and develops rights management, software security, consumer privacy protection, trusted big data for DNA sequencing and smart grid energy data management services. It currently owns 200 patents relating to these fields.
The news will prove troubling for Apple. The US firm has been at the centre of several heated patent battles with competing technology firms in recent years.
The most famous is its ongoing war of words and litigation with Android heavyweight smartphone maker Samsung.
The two firms have been in a heated series of lawsuits across the globe since Apple originally accused the Korean firm of slavishly copying its designs.