Effects of Federal Circuit’s Decision on Standard for Joint Infringement

December 2, 2015

Publication| Intellectual Property

In Akamai Technologies v. Limelight Networks, 793 F.3d 1020 (2015), a unanimous U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit clarified the standard for joint infringement by finding the defendant liable because it directed or controlled the actions of a third party that performed one or more steps of a claimed method. The Federal Circuit found the third party’s infringing steps were attributable to the defendant because the defendant had “condition[ed] participation in an activity or receipt of a benefit upon performance of a step or steps of a patented method and establishe[d] the manner or timing of that performance.” Only a few district courts have incorporated the reasoning in Akamai into their decisions. However, these decisions have already begun to shed light on the level of direction or control needed to attribute the actions of a third party to an alleged direct infringer.

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