Intertrust Technologies Corporation

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Intertrust Technologies Corporation
Company typePrivate
IndustryComputer software
FounderVictor Shear
HeadquartersSunnyvale, California
Key people
ProductsIntertrust Platform, ExpressPlay, MarketMaker, VOX (Virtual Operations Center) and iPKI

Intertrust Technologies Corporation is a software technology company specializing in trusted distributed computing. Intertrust’s product lines consist of a DataOps platform, Application protection and Content protection solutions.[1] Much of Intertrust's digital rights management (DRM) business is based on the Marlin DRM technology, which Intertrust founded along with four consumer electronics companies: Sony, Panasonic, Philips, and Samsung.[2][3]

Intertrust is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has offices in Tokyo, Seoul, London, Paris, Mumbai, Beijing, Tallinn, Riga and Bangalore.[4]


Victor H. Shear received a BA in sociology from Brandeis University, served as chief executive of Data Scientific Corporation from 1982 to 1985, and then co-founded Personal Library Software.[5] Around 1985, Shear attempted to obtain one of the first US patents for software.[6] For example, one patent covered metering and protecting data on a compact disc from 1986.[7]

The company began under the name Electronic Publishing Resources in January 1990. David M. Van Wie became involved with Intertrust in early 1991. Intertrust's technology, called digital rights management (DRM), enabled trusted transactions, from healthcare, enterprise computing to entertainment and consumer electronics.[8][9] In 1995, the company announced its technology would be used by Novell.[10] Former Bell Labs Fellow David P. Maher became chief technology officer in 1999.[11] In 1996, Electronic Publishing Resources was renamed Intertrust Technologies.

At the peak of the Internet bubble in October 1999, despite a lack of any earnings, Intertrust had its initial public offering.[12] It was listed on the NASDAQ exchange with symbol ITRU.[13] Within six months, the share price rose from $9 to $35, and a secondary offering on April 12, 2000 raised another $92 million.

In 2001, two companies were acquired: PublishOne, Inc., and ZeroGravity Technologies, and Nokia invested $20 million. However, by the end of 2001 losses had climbed to over $115 million a year, and shares were sometimes trading below $1 each.[14] Workforce reductions and office closures were announced in October 2001 and January 2002, which helped to end the losses.[15] In May 2002, further workforce reductions were announced, and marketing and development of software ceased as the company focused on licensing intellectual property.[15] In early 2003, the company became a joint venture of Philips, Sony and Stephens Inc., and Talal Shamoon was appointed as the CEO[16][17]

Intertrust Office
920 Stewart Dr #100
Sunnyvale, CA 94085

In April 2004, Microsoft settled the 2001 lawsuit, and agreed to pay $440 million to license Intertrust’s patents.[18][19] The week before the settlement, Microsoft and Time Warner announced they had acquired a majority stake in ContentGuard, a company which developed similar software.[18]

In 2006, the company co-founded the Coral Consortium for content interoperability with Fox, Samsung, Sony, Philips, Panasonic and HP.[20][21]

Intertrust licensed DRM technologies to large technology and media corporations.[22] The company then developed technology called Marlin, with mixed success. The continued emphasis on intellectual property caused the company to be called a "patent troll".[23] Huawei Technologies announced it would license Marlin in 2011.[24] A 2007 venture using Marlin with Pioneer Corporation called SyncTV had an investment from HTC Corporation in 2012.[25][26]

A public key infrastructure (PKI) service for Marlin called Seacert was announced in 2011.[27]

Between 2008 and 2016, Intertrust invested in companies that developed synergistic technologies.[28][29][30][31]

In 2010, the company entered into a Latvian-based joint venture called whiteCryption that markets application security technologies.[32][33]

In March, 2013, Intertrust filed a patent suit against Apple Inc.[34][35] Apple settled the suit in April 2014 for undisclosed terms.[36]

In October 2014, Princeton University professor Robert Tarjan rejoined Intertrust as chief scientist.[37]

In December 2016, the company added two investors, the German utility company Innogy (acquired by E.ON in 2020[38]) and the Japan - U.S. venture capital company World Innovation Lab. [39]

In April 2017 the company launched with Google the PatentShield program.[40]

In May 2019, the Australian energy company Origin Energy invested $20 million USD in Intertrust.[41]

In June 2020, the company announced the Intertrust Platform, which has been described as “a complete ecosystem of data security and rights management products”.[42][43]


  1. ^ "Platform for Data-driven Business | Intertrust". Intertrust Technologies. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  2. ^ "Captain's Blog: Marlin - The Hidden Gem of DRM". Packet Ship blog. May 29, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "DRM & Interoperability: Marlin, Coral & DECE" (PDF). Slide presentation. Marlin Developer Community. April 14, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "Contact Us". Intertrust Technologies. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  5. ^ "Form S1: Registration Statement". US SEC. July 29, 1999. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  6. ^ Elizabeth Ranney (September 9, 1985). "Software Publishers Seek Patents". Info World. p. 5. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  7. ^ Victor H. Shear (October 14, 1986). "Database usage metering and protection system and method". US Patent 4827508 A. Granted May 2, 1989
  8. ^ Roger Parloff (December 30, 2002). "Can This Man Bring Down Microsoft? Maybe not. But his company's patent suit is the biggest legal threat to Microsoft since the antitrust case". Fortune. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  9. ^ "Testimony of Victor Shear, Founder and CEO, InterTrust Technologies Corporation, Before United States Senate Judiciary Committee". Press release. April 3, 2001. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Kevin Fogerty, Michael Cooney and Ellen Messmer (October 16, 1995). "Locking up 'Net Copyrights: IBM, Novell to push 'secure containers' as on-line cash registers for electronic publishers". Network World. p. 66. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  11. ^ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Committee on Networked Systems of Embedded Computers (October 18, 2001). Embedded, Everywhere: A Research Agenda for Networked Systems of Embedded Computers. National Academies Press. ISBN 9780309075688.
  12. ^ Bruce Berman (December 3, 2008). From Assets to Profits: Competing for IP Value and Return. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 206–207. ISBN 9780470450499.
  13. ^ "Intertrust Technologies Corp (ITRU) IPO". NASDAQ. October 27, 1999. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Form 10-K: Annual Report for the Period Ending December 31, 2001". US SEC. March 15, 2002. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Form 10-Q: Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ending September 30, 2002". US SEC. November 14, 2002. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  16. ^ Journal, Don Clark Staff Reporter of The Wall Street. "Sony, Philips to Buy InterTrust, Gaining Control of Key Patents". WSJ. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  17. ^ "Fidelio Completes Acquisition of InterTrust Technologies Corporation". Press release. January 7, 2003. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Lohr, Steve (2004-04-12). "TECHNOLOGY; Microsoft Settles InterTrust Suit For $440 Million". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  19. ^ Paul F. Roberts (April 12, 2004). "Update: Microsoft to settle with InterTrust for $440M: Microsoft makes deal in long-running case over InterTrust's DRM software". Info World. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  20. ^ Umeh, Jude C. (2007). The World Beyond Digital Rights Management. BCS, The Chartered Institute. ISBN 9781902505879.
  21. ^ "Coral Consortium, the world's biggest DRM talking shop". Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  22. ^ "InterTrust Technologies". Aventurine company profile. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  23. ^ Taylor Buley (August 8, 2009). "A Scheme For Protecting Content". Forbes. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  24. ^ "Huawei and Intertrust Enter into Marlin Technology Alliance". Press release. March 1, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  25. ^ Thomas Ricker (November 19, 2007). "Pioneer's SyncTV YAOTVS (yet another online TV service)". EnGadget. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  26. ^ Terrence O'Brien (March 26, 2012). "HTC partners with Intertrust, buys 20 percent of SyncTV". EnGadget. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  27. ^ Eric Diehl (June 26, 2012). Securing Digital Video: Techniques for DRM and Content Protection. Springer. pp. 145–146. ISBN 9783642173455.
  28. ^ "Intertrust Acquires SyncTV from Pioneer". Copyright and Technology. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  29. ^ "Nest Labs Reportedly Nears Closure of $150M Venture Round". Greentech Media. Retrieved 2018-05-11. Current investors include (...) and Intertrust. Those firms are reportedly participating in the latest round behind DST Global.
  30. ^ "U.S. software technology co Intertrust Technologies acquires Estonia's Planet OS". Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  31. ^ "Intertrust Technologies Enters Genomics Space With Genecloud Project". GenomeWeb. Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  32. ^ "Intertrust subsidiary chases App and content protection". Rethink. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  33. ^ "David Maher, EVP, CTO, Intertrust Technologies". Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  34. ^ Connie Guglielmo (March 20, 2013). "Intertrust Sues Apple Over Patent Infringement". Forbes. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  35. ^ "Complaint for Patent Infringement: Intertrust Technologies Corporation vs. Apple Inc". United States District Court Northern District of California. March 20, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  36. ^ Don Clark (April 4, 2014). "Intertrust Settles Patent Suit Against Apple". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  37. ^ "Princeton Computer Scientist Robert E. Tarjan Appointed Chief Scientist at Intertrust Technologies". Press release. October 29, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  38. ^ Nhede, Nicholas (2020-06-03). "innogy takeover by E.ON complete". Smart Energy International. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  39. ^ "Intertrust Grows Investor Base in a Major Push to Expand its Products and Services". VentureBeat. 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  40. ^ "Google's and Intertrust's new PatentShield helps startups fight patent litigation in return for equity – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-05-11.
  41. ^ "III.11. Estimated remittance flows, by origin and receiving country and region, 2010, USD million". doi:10.1787/888932617341. Retrieved 2021-03-08. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  42. ^ Choudhury, Sudipta (2020-10-30). "DRM- How Business Can Meet the Higher Demands, Challenges of Big Data and IoT Applications". EnterpriseTalk. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  43. ^ "Intertrust Launches Intertrust Platform, a Single Platform to Enable the Next Generation of Online Commercial Activities". 2020-06-25. Retrieved 2021-03-08.

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