Federal Circuit grants en banc rehearing in Akamai joint patent infringement decisionBy Yar Chaikovsky, McDermott Will & Emery partnerand Cary Chien, McDermott Will & Emery associateOn April 20, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated its December 2010decision in Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., Case No. 09-1372 (Fed. Cir.,Dec. 20, 2010) (Linn, J.) and granted Akamai’s petition for rehearing en banc. The Court invitedbriefing on the general theme of when there can be infringement by multiple entities practicingvarious steps of a claimed invention.The issue presented in the Federal Circuit’s panel decision was whether accused infringerLimelight exercised control and direction over an entire patented process. The decision, nowvacated, determined that joint patent infringement only occurs when there is an agencyrelationship between the parties who perform the method steps or when one party is contractuallyobligated to the other to perform the steps. (See IP Update, Vol. 14, No. 1.)The Court added that “[b]riefs of amici curiae will be entertained, and may be filed withoutconsent and leave of court.”Yar Chaikovsky is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery where he focuses onintellectual property litigation for some of the biggest names in the technology field. Check outmore about him at Yar Chaikovsky McDermott.