786 F.3d 899 (Fed. Cir. 2015), 2009-1372, Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc.

Docket Nº:2009-1372, 2009-1380, 2009-1416, 2009-1417
Citation:786 F.3d 899, 114 U.S.P.Q.2d 1749
Opinion Judge:Linn, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES, INC., THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Plaintiffs-Appellants v. LIMELIGHT NETWORKS, INC., Defendant-Cross-Appellant
Attorney:SETH P. WAXMAN, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC, argued for plaintiffs-appellants. Also represented by THOMAS SAUNDERS, THOMAS GREGORY SPRANKLING; MARK CHRISTOPHER FLEMING, ERIC FLETCHER, LAUREN B. FLETCHER, BROOK HOPKINS, Boston, MA; DAVID H. JUDSON, Law Offices of Davi...
Judge Panel:Before PROST, Chief Judge, LINN, and MOORE,[*] Circuit Judges. Dissenting opinion filed by Circuit Judge MOORE. Moore, Circuit Judge, dissenting.
Case Date:May 13, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
 
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Page 899

786 F.3d 899 (Fed. Cir. 2015)

114 U.S.P.Q.2d 1749

AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES, INC., THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Plaintiffs-Appellants

v.

LIMELIGHT NETWORKS, INC., Defendant-Cross-Appellant

2009-1372, 2009-1380, 2009-1416, 2009-1417

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

May 13, 2015

Page 900

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Nos. 06-CV-11585, 06-CV-11109, Judge Rya W. Zobel.

AFFIRMED.

SETH P. WAXMAN, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC, argued for plaintiffs-appellants. Also represented by THOMAS SAUNDERS, THOMAS GREGORY SPRANKLING; MARK CHRISTOPHER FLEMING, ERIC FLETCHER, LAUREN B. FLETCHER, BROOK HOPKINS, Boston, MA; DAVID H. JUDSON, Law Offices of David H. Judson, Dallas, TX; DONALD ROBERT DUNNER, KARA F. STOLL, ELIZABETH D. FERRILL, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Washington, DC; JENNIFER S. SWAN, Palo Alto, CA; ROBERT S. FRANK, JR., G. MARK EDGARTON, CARLOS PEREZ-ALBUERNE, Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP, Boston, MA.

AARON M. PANNER, Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C., Washington, DC, argued for defendant-cross appellant. Also represented by JOHN CHRISTOPHER ROZENDAAL, MICHAEL E. JOFFRE; ALEXANDER FRASER MACKINNON, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Los Angeles, CA; YOUNG JIN PARK, New York, NY; DION D. MESSER, Limelight Networks, Inc., Tempe, AZ.

JERRY ROBIN SELINGER, Patterson & Sheridan LLP, Dallas, TX, for amici curiae Altera Corporation, HTC America, Inc., HTC Corporation, Weatherford International, Inc. Also represented by B. TODD PATTERSON, Houston, TX; GERO MCCLELLAN, Greensboro, NC.

WILLIAM G. BARBER, Pirkey Barber LLP, Austin, TX, for amicus curiae American Intellectual Property Law Association.

TIMOTHY TETER, Cooley LLP, Palo Alto, CA, for amicus curiae Apple Inc. Also represented by BENJAMIN G. DAMSTEDT, IAIN R. CUNNINGHAM, LORI R. MASON; PATRICK J. MURPHY, Apple Computer Inc., Cupertino, CA.

MEREDITH MARTIN ADDY, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Chicago, IL, for amici curiae Aristocrat Technologies Australia PTY Limited, Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. Also represented by ANTHONY R. DE ALCUAZ, McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, Menlo Park, CA.

JOHN W. RYAN, Thompson Hine LLP, Washington, DC, for amicus curiae Biotechnology Industry Organization. Also represented by HANSJORG SAUER, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Washington, DC; THOMAS M. HAAS, Sullivan & Worcester, Washington, DC.

JEFFREY E. FRANCIS, Pierce Atwood LLP, Boston, MA, for amicus curiae Boston Patent Law Association.

GREGORY PAUL STONE, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for amicus curiae CTIA The Wireless Association. Also represented by HEATHER E. TAKAHASHI, ANDREW W. SONG.

RAYMOND PARDO NIRO, I, Niro, Haller & Niro, Chicago, IL, for amici curiae Cascades Ventures, Inc., VNS Corporation. Also represented by JOHN C. JANKA.

EDWARD R. REINES, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Redwood Shores, CA, for amici curiae Cisco Systems, Inc., Dell Inc., Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, Intuit Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., NetApp, Inc., Ringcentral, Inc., SAP America, Inc., Symantec Corporation, Yahoo! Inc., Zynga Inc., Ebay, Inc. Also represented by NATHAN A. GREENBLATT.

STEVEN C. SEREBOFF, SoCal IP Law Group LLP, Westlake Village, CA, for amicus curiae Conejo Valley Bar Association. Also represented by MEENAKSHI KALA SARVAIYA, MARK ANDREW GOLDSTEIN.

JULIE P. SAMUELS, Electronic Frontier Foundation, San Francisco, CA, for amicus curiae Electronic Frontier Foundation. Also represented by MICHAEL BARCLAY.

MATTHEW D. MCGILL, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, for amici curiae Facebook, Inc., LinkedIn Corporation, Also represented by WILLIAM G. JENKS, Jenks IP Law, Washington, DC.

JOHN STEVEN GARDNER, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem, NC, for amicus curiae The Financial Services Roundtable. Also represented by ALTON LUTHER ABSHER; GIA L. CINCONE, San Francisco, CA.

PETER J. BRANN, Brann & Isaacson, Lewiston, ME, for amicus curiae Internet Retailers. Also represented by STACY O. STITHAM, DAVID SWETNAM-BURLAND.

GARRETH A. SAROSI, Winstead Attorneys, Dallas, TX, for amicus curiae MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. Also represented by MARK ATKERSON STACHIW, Metro PCS Communications Inc., Richardson, TX.

BENJAMIN JACKSON, Myriad Genetics, Salt Lake City, UT, for amicus curiae Myriad Genetics, Inc. Also represented by JAY Z. ZHANG.

CHARLES A. WEISS, Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, New York, NY, for amicus curiae New York Intellectual Property Law Association. Also represented by THERESA M. GILLIS, Mayer Brown, LLP, New York, NY.

ROBERT P. TAYLOR, Arnold & Porter, LLP, San Francisco, CA, for amicus curiae Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Also represented by MONTY AGARWAL; LISA A. ADELSON, DAVID R. MARSH, Washington, DC; DAVID EVAN KORN, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America, Washington, DC.

VICKI GEE NORTON, Duane Morris LLP, San Diego, CA, for amicus curiae The San Diego Intellectual Property Law Association.

ERIC LAURENCE ABBOTT, Abbott Law Chartered, Las Vegas, NV, for amicus curiae Shuffle Master, Inc.

CALVIN L. LITSEY, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Minneapolis, MN, for amicus curiae Thomson Reuters Corporation. Also represented by TIMOTHY M. SULLIVAN, AARON D. VAN OORT, CHRISTOPHER J. BURRELL.

MICHAEL K. KIRSCHNER, Hillis, Clark, Martin & Peterson P.S., Seattle, WA, for amicus curiae Washingon State Patent Law Association. Also represented by ALEXANDER M. WU.

CHARLES R. MACEDO, Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP, New York, NY, for amici curiae Double Rock Corporation, Island Intellectual Property, LLC, Broadband ITV, Inc. Also represented by JESSICA A. CAPASSO.

Before PROST, Chief Judge, LINN, and MOORE,[*] Circuit Judges. Dissenting opinion filed by Circuit Judge MOORE.

OPINION

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Linn, Circuit Judge.

This appeal returns to us following remand from the United States Supreme Court. See Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Techs., Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2111, 189 L.Ed.2d 52 (2014). Because our prior decisions in BMC Resources, Inc. v. Paymentech, L.P., 498 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2007), and Muniauction, Inc. v. Thomson Corp., 532 F.3d 1318 (Fed. Cir. 2008), directly apply to the facts of this case and because the statutory framework of 35 U.S.C. § 271 does not admit to the sweeping notions of common-law tort liability argued in this case, we again conclude that because Limelight Networks, Inc. (" Limelight" ) did not perform all of the steps of the asserted method claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,108,703 (the " '703 patent" ) and because the record contains no basis on which to impose liability on Limelight for the actions of its customers who carried out the other steps, Limelight has not directly infringed the '703 patent under § 271(a). Accordingly, we affirm the district court's finding of noninfringement and do not reach Limelight's cross-appeal regarding damages. We also confirm our previously reinstated affirmance of the district court's judgment of noninfringement of U.S. Patents No. 6,553,413 (the " '413 patent" ) and No. 7,103,645 (the " '645 patent" ). See Akamai, 629 F.3d 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2010), which was vacated, 419 F.App'x 989 (Fed. Cir. 2011)

Page 904

( en banc ), and then partially reinstated. Order No. 2009-1372 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 27, 2012) ( en banc ).

I. Background

A detailed description of the history of proceedings, the technology and the claims at issue in this case is set forth in the prior reported opinions of this court and the Supreme Court and will not be repeated except to the extent germane hereto. See Limelight, 134 S.Ct. 2111, 189 L.Ed.2d 52; Akamai, 692 F.3d 1301 (Fed. Cir. 2012) ( en banc ); Akamai, 629 F.3d 1311.

II. Divided Infringement Under § 271(a)

In the court's view, and for the reasons set forth in more detail, infra, direct infringement liability of a method claim under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) exists when all of the steps of the claim are performed by or attributed to a single entity--as would be the case, for example, in a principal-agent relationship, in a contractual arrangement, or in a joint enterprise.1 Because this case involves neither agency nor contract nor joint enterprise, we find that Limelight is not liable for direct infringement.

Direct infringement under § 271(a) requires a party to perform or use each and every step or element of a claimed method. Warner-Jenkinson Co. v. Hilton Davis Chem. Co., 520 U.S. 17, 29, 117 S.Ct. 1040, 137 L.Ed.2d 146 (1997). For method patent claims, direct infringement only occurs when a single party or a joint enterprise performs all of the steps of the process. See Joy Techs., Inc. v. Flakt, Inc., 6 F.3d 770, 775 (Fed. Cir. 1993) (" A method claim is directly infringed only by one practicing the patented method." (emphasis omitted)); Fromson v. Advance Offset Plate, Inc., 720 F.2d 1565, 1567-68 (Fed. Cir. 1983) (" Because the [method] claims include the application of a diazo coating or other light sensitive layer and because Advance's customers, not Advance, applied the diazo coating, Advance cannot be liable for direct infringement with respect to those plates." ). This holding derives from the statute itself, which states " whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent." § 271(a). Encouraging or instructing others to perform an act is not the same as performing the act oneself and does not result in direct infringement. BMC, 498 F.3d at 1378-79. This is evidenced by the fact that § 271 has separate subsections addressing induced and contributory infringement. When a party participates in or encourages infringement but does not directly infringe a...

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