Boston University Sues Apple Over 1997 Patent

It asks court to stop sales on iPads, iPhones, and MacBook Air
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2013 9:00 AM CDT
Boston University Sues Apple Over 1997 Patent
An iPhone is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Boston University is asking a court to stop the sales of the iPhone 5, iPad, and MacBook Air, claiming that all those products infringe on a patent filed by one of its professors back in 1997. The patent covers a method of generating blue lasers in a cheap, compact fashion using gallium nitride film semiconductors. The school wants a cut of all the profits Apple has made on all those devices, plus interest, which an expert tells CNET could amount to $75 million.

But don't worry Apple junkies, the court probably won't take those devices off the market, nor will BU really pressure it to do so; the request is pro forma, the Verge explains, included in almost all such lawsuits. And if BU seems like an unlikely litigant, you should know it has tried to enforce this same patent before, suing both Amazon and Samsung over it in just the past year. (In other must-read tech news, the visionary inventor of the computer mouse has died.)

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