Apple is facing a legal challenge from a seven-strong industry group claiming the company has infringed a video-compression-technology copyright.
The group, which includes JVC and Matsushita, filed a suit against Compaq last week. However, no suit has actually been filed against Apple yet.
The lawsuit aims to prevent Compaq from selling computers that carry technologies that violate the litigants' patents. Damages of as much as $60 million are also being sought.
Letters have been despatched to Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell asking the companies to acquire licenses for the patents.
Neither Apple nor Compaq would comment at the time of writing.