Apple may have to change the way its Apple's iTunes Music Store, iTunes software, the iPod devices and Apple's QuickTime Streaming products work.
Burst.com, a company that specialises in streaming media, has filed a case against Apple for infringing four patents that it says it owns in some of its software applications.
Burst's filing responds to a suit that Apple filed against Burst in January of this year, seeking a declaration that Burst's patents are invalid and that Apple does not infringe them.
Burst requests in its counterclaims that Apple pay a reasonable royalty for Apple's infringing products and services, and also seeks an injunction against further infringement.
Burst alleges that its technology has been essential to Apple's success, providing it with a critical audio and video-on-demand media delivery solution.
Burst's Chairman & CEO Richard Lang said "We have a responsibility to protect our patents and to seek a fair return for the many years and tremendous investment that we have made in developing Burst technology and patents".
Microsoft settled a similar lawsuit brought by Burst in March 2005. Microsoft paid Burst $60 million for a non-exclusive license for the patents.