The U.S. Supreme Court Finds No Liability for Induced Infringement Without Direct Infringement

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al., holding that a defendant may not be liable for induced infringement of a patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) when no one has directly infringed the patent under § 271(a) or any other statutory provision.

The Patent at Issue -

Akamai Technologies is the exclusive licensee of the patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,108,703. The ‘703 patent claims a method of delivering electronic data using a content delivery network (“CDN”). Website owners, known as “content providers,” contract with Akamai to deliver the content of their websites to internet users. The method includes a step of designating certain components of a content provider’s website to be stored on Akamai’s servers (known as “tagging”) and accessed from the servers by internet users. Limelight Networks operates a CDN and carries out some steps of the claimed method. However, Limelight does not designate the components of its customers’ websites to be stored on its servers and requires its customers to do their own tagging...

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