Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Federal Circuit - Akamai v. Limelight - Joint Infringement of Method Claim

In US patent law the standard of joint infringement of method claims seems to be shifting in recent years. Although not a lengthy decision on August 13, 2015, in Akamai Technologies v. Limelight Network, the Federal Circuit made it easier to prove joint infringement.

The Federal Circuit began in safe territory by stating: "direct infringement under occurs where all steps of a claimed method are performed by or attributable to a single entity." The Federal Circuit stated if "more than one actor is involved in practicing the steps, a court must determine whether the acts of one are attributable to the other such that a single entity is responsible for the infringement. When should it be attributable? The Federal Circuit says we will hold an entity responsible for others’ performance of method steps in two sets of circumstances: (1) where that entity directs or controls others’ performance, and (2) where the actors form a joint enterprise, and not just when we have a principle-agency relationship or a contract between the actors.

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