BU sues Apple, Amazon over patent infringement

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Boston University has sued Apple Inc. and several other big technology companies as part of wide-reaching patent litigation over a thin film technology the school alleges was invented by one of its engineering professors.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal district court in Boston, BU charges that Apple has violated its patent on “highly insulating monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films” by using the technology in such products as the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air.

BU has also sued Amazon.com Inc., Samsung, and other technology makers over the similar patent issue.

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The school claims that the technology was invented by Theodore Moustakas, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and the patent for the film was issued in 1997. A BU spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. The university is seeking a jury trial and damages that will be determined during a trial.