Boston University has challenged Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in a patent infringement case. Recently, BU filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, alleging that the world's largest consumer electronics giant has ripped off an electronic chip and stuffed it into iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. Boston University said that the electronic component was patented by its computer engineering professor Theodore D. Moustakas in 1997.
BU has also demanded a ban on the sales of the world's most popular electronic devices—iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. Boston University said in its complaint that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s acts of infringement have caused irreplaceable damage to the institution, reports Jessica Van Sack of the Boston Herald.
Boston University trustees said Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products are equipped with gallium nitride film semiconductors that are currently under patent protection. The BU professor applied for the patent in 1997, which means it will expire in 2017. The educational institution is now demanding a part of Apple's profits from sales of those devices, plus interest. Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay expects the figure to touch at least $75 million.
Apple Unlikely To Face Ban On Sales
However, it seems unlikely that the court would place a ban on sales of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices as a result of the lawsuit. Analysts believe that BU will have a case only if it shows that professor Theodore D. Moustakas planned to turn his discovery into a business. People familiar with the matter told the Boston Herald of plans to reveal that some other companies are paying a licensing fee to use the patented product in question.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has one of the deepest pockets and highest market values in the world. It could keep the lawsuit in the courts until the patent expires in 2017. Boston University has also sued Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and other tech firms over the same issue.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were down 0.80 percent to $417.42 at the end of the trading session on Friday.