Level 3 Patent Filing Against Limelight Networks CDN Now Online

I’ve gotten a hold of the filing and all of the documents associated with the Level 3 patent infringement suit against Limelight Networks as it pertains to Limelight’s CDN offering. (Download Suit)

The filing talks to four CDN specific Level 3 patents including 6,185,598 – 6,473,405 – 6,654,807 – 7,054,935 some of which were originally granted to Sandpiper Networks back in 1998. After quickly reading through all of the documents two major things come to light.

The first is that the filing states that Level 3 sent Limelight a letter in February of 2007 informing Limelight of various patents owned by Level 3 that pertain to content delivery. Level 3 believes that after Limelight received knowledge of these Level 3 patents that Limelight did not re-design its CDN offering to avoid the claims of the Level 3 patents. While I don’t expect Limelight to be able to talk about the suit publicly, the fact that Limelight had knowledge of the patents for nearly all of 2007 and didn’t feel the need to license the patents from Level 3, that would leave one to think that Limelight feels it is not infringing on the patents or feels strongly that the patents will not hold up in court. UPDATE: On Monday Dec. 31st, Limelight issued a statement saying they "believe that these allegations are without merit, and intends to defend itself vigorously."

The second thing to note in the filing is that Level 3 says it is suffering damages in "an amount not yet determined" and as of the filing, Level 3 is not asking for any specific amount in damages.

For those who I know are going to ask, I don’t expect this suit to stop any potential customers from using Limelight networks. The CDN space has seen many patent suits over the past 10 years and typically, customers don’t have any real concern as nearly all of the major CDNs have gone through patent suits at one time or another.

Note: While I have worked as a consultant and expert witness on various patent suits pertaining to IP based video, I am not working on this case and have never worked on any lawsuit involving any content delivery network.