An American university has sued for infringing a 1997 patent - and is asking for US authorities to pull its iconic iPhone, iPad and Macbook products from sale.
According to GigaOm, Boston University has sued the company because of a technique relating to "compact solid-state blue lasers", which was filed by one of its professors in 1995 and granted two years later.
In a complaint filed at the Massachusetts federal court, BU's trustees claiming that a "gallium nitride thin film semiconductor device" present in many Apple products is covered by Professor Theodore Moustakas's patent.
The patent specifically relates to the use of nitrogen to make a film which is used in the production of lasers.
According to the filing, BU is seeking a sales injunction on Apple "making, having made, selling, offering for sale, distributing and/or using products" that involve the device, as well as an accounting of the company's profits.
It is thought the school could in theory demand a significant share of Apple's earnings as a result of the lawsuit. In the past it has issued similar lawsuits against Amazon and Samsung.
In reality, however, it is more likely that the two will settle out of court. One tech analyst says that the school is likely to get about $75million from the lawsuit - which aught to pay for a few more scholarships.