Of all the various cases —IP related or otherwise — reviewed by the United States Supreme Court in the twilight of its 2013-2014 session, Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. is perhaps the most vexingly complicated and difficult to wrap one’s head around. That frustration seemed evident in the Justice’s comments following the oral arguments for the case on Tuesday. Despite the complexities the case could still have deep implications on the nature of IP claims involving more than one party.
At the heart of the issue are the concepts of direct and indirect infringement. In the original case, Akamai accuses Limelight networks of violating one of its patents; however, because part of the patented method required another action performed by another party to complete it, it could not be considered direct infringement. The second party in question was the end-users of the service.