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Supreme Court to hear Limelight appeal of Akamai suit

Seven months after asking the Solicitor General for its take on Limelight's (LLNW +1.4%) appeal of an infringement verdict delivered by a federal appeals court in a patent suit filed by bigger rival Akamai (AKAM +1.3%), the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Limelight shares received a slight lift from the decision in afternoon trading.

The Supreme Court's decision could have far-reaching implications, given it will be rendering judgment on the validity of induced patent infringement. Akamai asserts Limelight is guilty of infringement because it performs certain steps of a patented method, and compels customers to perform the others. Limelight argues it's innocent as long as it isn't performing each step itself.

Google, Cisco, Oracle, and other tech companies are backing Limelight in the dispute, as is the White House.

Oral arguments will likely be heard in April, and a decision is expected by June.

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