Supreme Court Rejects Expanded Inducement Doctrine

The Supreme Court, in its decision in Limelight Networks v. Akamai Tech, has held that one cannot be liable for inducing another party to infringe a patent without a determination that such other party actually committed direct infringement. In other words, in order to have induced infringement, you must first direct infringement. This is a reversal of the decision by the Federal Circuit. Read the decision here.

With technology increasingly being practiced in a distributed manner involving several entities, where direct infringement by a single actor becomes less common, what does this decision mean to the practicality of patent enforcement? Is the law too far out of touch with current technology? The debate continues…

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