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Akamai wins Limelight patent ruling

Content delivery network (CDN) services specialist Akamai Technologies has confirmed that in a unanimous decision the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sitting en banc held that Limelight Networks, Inc. is liable for direct infringement of a content delivery patent asserted by Akamai. In 2008, a jury had returned a verdict that Limelight was infringing the patent and awarded Akamai over $45 million in damages.

The ruling reinstates liability for infringement, which had been overturned in a post-trial ruling that has been the subject of appellate proceedings since.

“We are extremely pleased with The Federal Circuit’s decision,” said Aaron Ahola, Deputy General Counsel at Akamai. “Akamai is at the forefront of innovation on the Internet and today’s ruling recognizes the strength of our intellectual property. We believe strongly that a company’s intellectual property is a vital asset which must be defended to protect shareholder value.”

In a Statement, Limelight said that it studies all options and determines its next steps, the company believes its balance sheet is strong enough to continue to invest in the business and respond to any potential outcome in its continuing court battle with Akamai.

“We are disappointed this outcome isn’t aligned with the recent rulings in our favor, which were supported by many global technology and industry leading companies, and are determined to continue the process,” stated Bob Lento, Limelight’s chief executive officer. “Our business is strong and gaining strength. Our network traffic is growing at a record pace. 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.”

The original lawsuit from 2006 relates to a technical architecture that has not been in use at Limelight for many years. The company continuously advances and improves its products, and the performance delivered through the Limelight Orchestrate platform is not at issue in this long-standing dispute.

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