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…