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BU sues to block sales of Kindles in patent dispute

Boston University yesterday sued Amazon.com, charging the LEDs used in its Kindle tablets violate a patent the university holds on making the lights.

BU, which has already sued several LED manufacturers, says the lights infringe on work by Theodore Moustakas, a BU professor of electrical engineering and computer science, on "growing" LED components out of gallium nitride.

BU alleges that Amazon.com is using LEDs made by Seoul Semiconductors, one of the companies it had earlier sued.

In its complaint, the university says it didn't want to sue Amazon.com, but that Seoul forced its hand by refusing to accept responsibility for the use of its products by its customers - language that suggests BU might be preparing suits against additional companies that purchased LEDs from Seoul.

In addition to blocking the sales of Kindles that use the allegedly offending LEDs, BU is also seeking money to compensate it for the "substantial and irreparable damage" Kindle sales have caused it, additional punitive damages and legal fees.