Court: Company didn't induce patent infringement

Jun 2 2014, 2:28pm CDT | by

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that a company is not liable for inducing patent infringement if someone other than the company carries out some of the steps leading to infringement.

The justices unanimously ruled Monday that Internet content delivery company Limelight Networks Inc. did not infringe on the patented system for managing images and video owned by rival Akamai Technologies Inc.

Akamai claimed Limelight used some of its patented methods for speeding content delivery, and then illegally encouraged its customers to carry out the remaining steps. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed, but the Supreme Court reversed.

Justice Samuel Alito said all the steps for patent infringement must be performed by a single party. Since there was no direct infringement, Alito said there could be no inducement.

The case drew interest from tech giants including Google and Oracle, which have been sued frequently by so-called "patent trolls," companies that buy patents and force businesses to pay license fees or face costly litigation. They had urged the high court to overturn the Federal Circuit in order to limit the growing number of patent infringement lawsuits.

In another patent case Monday, the high court also ruled unanimously that a medical device company's patent on a heart-rate monitor used with exercise equipment was too ambiguous to pass muster. Biosig Instruments had sued competitor Nautilus Inc., for allegedly infringing its monitor's design.

Writing for the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the description of Biosig's design as a "spaced relationship" between two electrodes was not specific enough to meet patent standards. The high court again reversed a decision of the Federal Circuit, which found the patent acceptable.

The Supreme Court remanded the case and instructed the appeal court to use a more exacting standard.

The cases are Limelight Technologies, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., 12-786; and Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 13-369.


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Amazon Black Friday 2015 Sale is Live: The Best Deals
Amazon Black Friday 2015 Sale is Live: The Best Deals
The Black Friday 2015 sale on Amazon is an 8 Day event.
Amazon Black Friday 2015 Deals Unveiled
Amazon Black Friday 2015 Deals Unveiled
The Black Friday 2015 Deals offered in the Amazon Black Friday 2015 Sale are here.
Sam&#039;s Club Holiday Savings Celebration Sale 2015 Kicked Off Online
Sam's Club Holiday Savings Celebration Sale 2015 Kicked Off Online
The Sam's Club sale on Saturday November 14 is the first big Black Friday 2015 sale of the year and the Black Friday deals are online now ahead of the stores opening.
Find Hot Black Friday 2015 Deals
Find Hot Black Friday 2015 Deals
The Black Friday 2015 Ads are rolling advertising the Black Friday 2015 deals.