Federal Circuit Revisits Akamai, Further Expanding Scope of Joint Direct Infringement

December 27, 2017

The Federal Circuit has revisited its 2015 decision in Akamai v. Limelight, issuing a December 19 opinion in Travel Sentry v. Tropp that may further expand that decision’s broad framework for establishing joint direct infringement. In Akamai, the Federal Circuit held that liability for joint direct infringement can be triggered in scenarios where the defendant “conditions” a third party’s “participation in an activity or receipt of a benefit” on performing the steps of a patent. The Federal Circuit held in the present case that joint direct infringement can be found through a partnership-like relationship between the parties collectively practicing the steps, rather than simply through a customer-client relationship as previously considered in Akamai.

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