Limelight v. Akamai: Limiting Induced Infringement

Wisconsin Law Review online, 2014:1

8 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2014

Date Written: July 21, 2014


In Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., the Supreme Court addressed the relationship between direct infringement under § 271(a) of the Patent Act and induced infringement under § 271(b). The Court held that a defendant could be liable for inducing infringement of a patented process only if a single party would have been liable for performing all of the steps constituting direct infringement.

In this short article, I provide the background to the opinion, discuss the ruling, and offer four lessons, which address: (1) the text of the Patent Act, (2) the Supreme Court’s treatment of the Federal Circuit, (3) the question of direct infringement, and (4) policy issues presented by congressional action.

Keywords: patent, inducement, infringement, Akamai, Limelight, Federal Circuit

JEL Classification: K11, O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Carrier, Michael A., Limelight v. Akamai: Limiting Induced Infringement (July 21, 2014). Wisconsin Law Review online, 2014:1, Available at SSRN:

Michael A. Carrier (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

217 North Fifth Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
856-225-6380 (Phone)
856-225-6516 (Fax)

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