07 July 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Final judgement in Akami v Limelight

Limelight Networks will pay Akami Technologies $51 million in damages, a US district court has ruled.

The final judgement, issued on 1 July by the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, puts an end to a patent infringement case that has lasted more than eight years.

Akami Technologies had claimed that competitor Limelight infringed patented technology for a content delivery network.

Most significantly, a divided Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made the decision in 2012 that Limelight could be held liable for inducing infringement.

But the Supreme Court overruled that decision in 2014, stating: “Liability for inducement must be predicated on direct infringement.”

This meant that Limelight could not be held liable for indirect infringement unless it was also liable for direct infringement.

The $51 million damages award reflects matches what was originally awarded to Akamai by a jury for Limelight's infringement prior to 2008, plus interest, according to the company.

Akamai has also lodged a new patent infringement lawsuit against Limelight in Virginia. Scheduled for trial in January 2017, it involves a patent from the same family and seeks additional damages for Limelight's alleged ongoing infringement after 2008.

Following the final judgement, Aaron Ahola, deputy general counsel at Akamai, said: “We are extremely pleased after ten years of litigation to have a final judgement entered in Akamai's favour that recognises Limelight's infringement and the harm it caused.”

“Akamai is at the forefront of innovation on the internet and today's judgment provides true validation of the value of our intellectual property. We will continue to vigorously protect our intellectual property to maximise shareholder value."

Limelight, however, also argued victory on its side.

“Since August of 2015, we have allocated precious resources to eliminate the possibility of a permanent injunction and address our belief that the ultimate damages payable would be considerably less than the amounts requested in this case,” said Robert Lento, chief executive officer of Limelight.

“We participate in an attractive industry and remain focused on improving Limelight’s operational and financial performance and are thankful for the continuing support of our customers, employees and shareholders.”

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