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Akamai Wins Over Limelight in $45M Patent Infringement Ruling
A unanimous appeals court ruling found that Limelight was responsible for infringement, even if customers performed the final step.
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In 2006, Akamai filed suit against Limelight Networks, alleging infringement against its patented technology for handling online media. Akamai won the case in 2008, but the judge dismissed the verdict, finding that Limelight didn't use all of Akamai's intellectual property—that a third-party (Limelight customers) was responsible for the final step.

Akamai next won a judgment from a federal circuit court in 2012, but that ruling was overturned by a high court decision in June 2013. Again, the issue was that Limelight wasn't the sole party responsible for the infringement.

A federal circuit panel ruled for Limelight in May, declaring that doing otherwise would lead to predatory patent lawsuits.

The nine-year odyssey may now be at an end, as the country's top patent court yesterday ruled unanimously for Akamai, reinstating the previous jury verdict. Limelight is responsible for all the infringement, it said, since the CDN "directs or controls" is customers' actions, and so the full process could be attributed to Limelight.

Thanks to the ruling, Akamai has won a $45 million judgment against Limelight.

Following the ruling, Limelight shares dropped over 18 percent and Akamai rose slightly.

“We are extremely pleased that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has unanimously recognized that Limelight is liable for direct infringement," said Jeff W. Young, Akamai's vice president of corporate communications. "Akamai is at the forefront of innovation on the internet and today's ruling recognizes the strength of our intellectual property.”

For its part, Limelight is concerned with repairing damage to its stock price. “Our business is strong and gaining strength. Our network traffic is growing at a record pace," said Limelight CEO Bob Lento in a written statement. "We are investing in our business, improving margins, and are confident of our future. We will not allow this to distract us from serving our global customers.”

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