Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Under Akamai, Induced Infringement Does Not Require Intent to Incur Legal Liability

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's induced infringement claim and rejected defendant's argument that it could not be liable for its pre-Akamai Techs., Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., 692 F.3d 1301 (Fed. Cir. 2012), conduct. "[Defendant] pointed out that, before the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Akamai, a defendant . . . who induced another to perform fewer than all of the steps of a method patent could not be held liable for induced infringement. Accordingly, [defendant] argued, it could not have intended to induce infringement before Akamai because it was legally impossible for it to be held liable for inducing a customer to perform only one of the steps of the [patent-in-suit]. . . . [T]he most natural reading of Akamai . . . is that liability for induced infringement requires, not that the defendant knew that its acts would render it legally liable (which would have been impossible pre-Akamai), but rather that the defendant knew and intended that (1) each of the steps that make up the method patent would be performed by someone (either the defendant itself or someone acting at the behest of the defendant) and that (2) these steps would, if performed by a single entity, constitute direct infringement (which is possible both pre- and post-Akamai)."

Transunion Intelligence LLC, et. al. v Search America Inc., et. al., 0-11-cv-01075 (MND February 22, 2013, Order) (Schiltz, J.).

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