The computing landscape is changing in that businesses – and individuals – are increasingly turning to “the cloud” for computing solutions. In an attempt to maintain patent portfolios that keep pace with the changing computing landscape, an increasing number of corporations are filing for patent protection on cloud computing related technologies. Cloud computing patents, however, may be difficult to enforce in light of current Federal Circuit case law relating to the Joint Infringement Doctrine. Two cases, Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. and McKesson Technologies, Inc. v. Epic Systems Corp., decided by the Federal Circuit in 2010 and in 2011 respectively, were both granted an en banc rehearing to address joint infringement. Thus, the joint infringement doctrine may be poised for change. This article examines cloud computing, how the joint infringement doctrine effects cloud computing patents, and how decisions in the Akamai and McKesson cases may change the way patent practitioners go about drafting and litigating cloud computing patents.
Nicole D. Galli & Edward Gecovich, Cloud Computing and the Doctrine of Joint Infringement: ‘Current Impact’ and Future Possibilities, 11 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 673 (2012)