Apple, BlackBerry, others sued over security patents

The companies allegedly infringe on biometric encryption and document security technologies, according to court filings

Security company Maz Encryption Technologies sued seven large technology companies for allegedly infringing on several of its security patents. The suits target security technology used in the iPhone and iPad as well as the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution, among other products.

Maz sued Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Toshiba, BlackBerry and Apple in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, according to documents that were filed with the court on Monday that were published by PriorSmart.

The patents in the suit cover technologies that relate to electronic information and document security using file-level and biometric encryption, according to the court filings. All patented technologies were developed by Stephen Zizzi, who was CTO of Maz, the company said.

Maz offers a system called IntelliGard that, for example, is used in an encryption program for Windows 2000, XP and Windows 7. The same technology is used in a program called iMail that allows users to send secure and encrypted email attachments. The company also offers smartcards to store encrypted company information as well as associated hardware, according to the company's website. All brochures on the site are dated 1998.

Not all companies were sued over the same patents though. Dell and HP were sued over two patents, one covering a user authentication system and method for encryption and decryption (the '476 patent) and the other covering a method of transparent encryption and decryption for an electronic document management system (the '681 patent).  

Dell is alleged to have infringed the '467 patent with its Data Protection Encryption security offering and the '681 patent with its biometric and fingerprint readers. HP infringes the patents with its HP-UX 11i Encrypted Volume and File System (EVFS) as well as with HP ProtectTools and fingerprint readers, Maz alleged.

Fujitsu, Lenovo and Toshiba were all sued over the '476 patent. Fujitsu allegedly infringes with its fingerprint readers and biometric authentication systems such as PalmSecure and PalmEntry. Lenovo allegedly infringes with ThinkVantage and fingerprint sensors, while Toshiba allegedly infringes with EasyGuard and fingerprint readers, according to the filings.

BlackBerry, referred to by its old name, Research in Motion, in the filings, was sued over the '681 patent because it infringes the patent with its BlackBerry Enterprise Solution, Maz said.

Apple is the only company that was sued over a different patent. The company allegedly infringes on a patent covering file system encryptions, the '358 patent, it uses in its iOS security system and architecture, used in products as the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Maz said.

Maz requested a jury trial in all cases, is seeking damages and wants a permanent injunction against the infringing products.

Apple, HP and Dell declined to comment on pending litigation. Lenovo, BlackBerry, Fujitsu and Toshiba did not respond to a request for comment.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patentlegalLenovotoshibaencryptionFujitsuHewlett-PackardBlackberryDellAppleintellectual propertysecurity

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?