In June 2006, Akamai Technologies sued Limelight Networks claiming that Limelight infringed its patent on distributing content over the Internet. I will use this case to explain the U.S. patent system and how patent litigation works. We will discuss the requirements for obtaining a patent, what makes up a patent, how the claims are interpreted and why patent litigation is so expensive. Along the way we will discuss patent applications, office actions, expert witnesses, claim construction, jury trials, bench trials, infringement, and defenses including invalidity and inequitable conduct. Come learn what a submarine patent is (it has nothing to do with electric boats) and what latches is (it has nothing to do with holding cabinets closed).
After graduating from M.I.T. with degrees in Electrical Engineering, David designed analog and digital electronic instrumentation used in medicine, education and chemical analysis. In 1986 he co-founded Galactic Industries Corp., a software company that brought analytical data processing to personal computing through efficient programming. In 2001, David negotiated the sale of Galactic to a division of Thermo Electron and, a short time later, left Thermo Galactic to enter Harvard Law School. After law school, he initially worked as an Intellectual Property Associate at WilmerHale, then clerked in Federal District Court for The Honorable Judge Rya Zobel. He returned to Harvard Law School to help establish the first-year Problem Solving Workshop while a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society investigating the clash between copyright and the Internet. He currently teaches Problem Solving at Suffolk Law School and introductory circuit design (ES52 and PHYS123) at Harvard University.