Akamai Tech., Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., No. 09-1372 (Fed. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Akamai owns a method patent for delivery of web content, consisting of placing some of a provider’s content elements on a set of replicated servers and modifying the provider’s web page to instruct browsers to retrieve content from those servers. Akamai sued Limelight, alleging direct and indirect infringement. Limelight maintains a network of servers that places some content on its servers. Limelight does not modify content pages itself, but instructs customers on doing so. McKesson owns a method patent for electronic communication between healthcare providers and patients. McKesson alleged that Epic induced infringement. Epic licenses software that permits healthcare providers to communicate electronically with patients. Epic does not perform any steps of the patent; patients initiate communication and healthcare providers perform remaining steps. In the district court, Limelight and Epic were held not to infringe because they did not perform the steps in the method. The Federal Circuit reversed. When a single actor commits all elements of infringement, that actor is liable for direct infringement (35 U.S.C. 271(a)). When a single actor induces another to commit all elements of infringement, the first actor is liable for induced infringement (35 U.S.C. 271(b)). When the acts necessary to give rise to direct infringement are shared between actors, a single party may be liable for induced infringement.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on December 20, 2010.