Sony licenses InterTrust's digital rights technology

Consumer electronics giant Sony has agreed to license patents from beleaguered InterTrust Technologies Corp. to create digital rights management (DRM) technology, a deal valued at over US$28.5 million.

InterTrust will receive this one-time fee plus future royalties from Sony, which plans to use InterTrust's patents as a basis for DRM features that will be integrated into its digital media products and services, InterTrust officials said on Thursday. The deal gives Sony rights to InterTrust's 24 existing U.S. patents, plus future rights to the 90 patents that are pending.

Twelve-year-old InterTrust, which earlier this month announced plans to forgo product manufacturing and focus on licensing its intellectual property instead, is currently embroiled in a legal spat with Microsoft Corp. In April of 2001 InterTrust filed a suit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California claiming Microsoft's Windows Media Player and other products infringed upon its DRM patents.

Since then, InterTrust has amended that filing to include additional patents and other Microsoft products, such as Windows XP, Office XP, and its .Net platform for Web services.

The company is seeking monetary damages and injunctions against Microsoft to prevent it from selling products that allegedly infringe on its patents. Microsoft has denied wrongdoing and filed a counter patent-infringement suit against InterTrust.. The law suits are still pending.

Publically held InterTrust earlier this year pared down its workforce to 35 employees from 115, officials said. For its first quarter ending March 31, the company reported a net loss of $12.4 million.

DRM technology is implemented in software and most often used to protect digital content, such as music and video clips, from unauthorized copying. But InterTrust's technology is also used by corporations for digital policy management, a company official said. For example, a company might use DRM technology to manage the distribution, access, and modification of its compliance policies with federal regulations, she said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cara Garretson

PC World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?