Apple finds itself in a patent dispute once again, but this time around its not with Samsung or any other rival company. Its actually with an educational institution, in fact, one of the largest universities in the country. Boston University has filed a patent lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, claiming that MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone all have a part that was patented by one of their professors in 1997.

The patent itself is titled “highly insulating monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films,” and relates to a semiconductor that was invented by Professor Theodore D. Moustakas. In its complaint, Boston University claims that Apple’s infringement of its patent has caused and will continue to cause BU “substantial and irreparable damage.” Similar patent violations claims, eight to be precise, have already been filed by BU against small manufacturers. Samsung and Amazon too were accused of such violation last year. The Boston Herald cites one person familiar with the suit as saying that BU in its case will impress upon the fact that at least one company is paying a licensing fee to use this component, this could make up for a solid argument against Apple. Analysts are of the view that a favorable verdict for the university might mean that Apple would have to pay up to $75 million in damages.

Filed in Apple. Read more about Patents.

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