LegalNews

Patent trollin’: Apple sued over its Secure Enclave technology

Non-practicing entity Identity Security (in other words, a “patent troll”) has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming the tech giant’s Secure Enclave technology, present in nearly every major product line, infringes on four owned patents, reports AppleInsider.

The Secure Enclave is a dedicated secure subsystem integrated into Apple systems on chip (SoCs). It’s isolated from the main processor to provide an extra layer of security and is designed to keep sensitive user data secure even when the Application Processor kernel becomes compromised.

Apple says it follows the same design principles as the SoC does—a boot ROM to establish a hardware root of trust, an AES engine for efficient and secure cryptographic operations, and protected memory. Although the Secure Enclave doesn’t include storage, it has a mechanism to store information securely on attached storage separate from the NAND flash storage that’s used by the Application Processor and operating system.

Lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the new lawsuit claims Apple’s Secure Enclave violates four of its patents. The patents involve methods of improving user security by creating a digital identity that resides on a unique microprocessor device. 

By the way, a patent troll is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.