Limelight gets dimmed

In a bit of sideline news the company I worked at for about three days last year, Limelight Networks, just lost a patent case to Akamai. Apparently this is only for the Edge Networking part of the business, but still hurts:

The patent in the dispute, number 6,108,703, deals with a global hosting system that “allows a content provider to replicate and serve its most popular content at an unlimited number of points throughout the world” and was originally awarded to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000.

Melanie Haratunian, senior vice president and general counsel of Akamai, praises the jury’s verdict and says that it “recognizes the strength of Akamai’s patent portfolio and is a tangible reflection of our resolve to vigorously defend the company’s intellectual property.” Akamai says it plans to pursue and injunction against Limelight to prevent any further violations of the patent.

Limelight spokesman Paul Alfieri says that many of Limelight’s core services would continue to operate even if Akamai were to win an injunction against the company.

“The patent in question deals with very specific pieces of our business,” he says. “There are many pieces of our business that have nothing to do with that patent and that we could continue to operate.”

So while this won’t close the doors at Limelight it does severely slow their ability to grow in the marketplace. Edge Networking allows companies to replicate the complex task of Server Side Computing much closer to the end user, thus speeding things up considerably. Right now all Limelight and any other CDN offers is to put copies of your content on their network so that it downloads or streams faster to the end user.