Boston University sues Apple over semiconductor patent infringement

Boston University filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. and several other big tech companies over an alleged patent infringement, a thin film semiconductor technology that they claim was developed by one of their professors.

The suit, which was filed on Tuesday in a federal district court in Boston, the school claims that Apple violated its patent on “highly insulating monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films.” BU says this technology is being used in products such as the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air.

Boston University names Theodore Moustakas, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, as the inventor of the technology, and claims that the patent for the semiconductor film was issued in 1997.

The school is seeking financial compensation that will be determined by a jury, if the case goes to trial. However, the patent on Moustakas’ technology expires in 2015, leaving experts to speculate on what little impact a Boston University victory could have on Apple’s future.

Neither party has commented on the case.

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