One of the pioneers of interactive television, OpenTV, has sued Apple over alleged patents infringements.

The civil suit was filed yesterday in a US District court and alleges that several Apple products and services violate five of OpenTV’s patents relating to digital video streaming.

The San Francisco Company asked the court to award it an unspecified amount in compensations for Apple’s alleged infringement. OpenTV claims that Apple’s iTunes software for downloading and streaming rented movies violates its patents for securely delivering media to consumer devices.

The suits further alleges that other companies, including Apple rival Google, Cisco systems and Disney, have licensed its technology.

OpenTV was one of the first entrants into the world of streaming media content, making the interactive software used in millions of television set-up boxes. The company’s software is among the first to deliver an Internet browser to the TV, which allowed Dish Network’s satellite TV users to shop on QVC without the need to leave their couches.

In today’s market, OpenTV provides software that powers on-demand video services and digital video recorders.