Akamai’s 703 Patent Should Not Affect Microsoft, Does Not Apply To All Content

One point I think many are missing with regards to the 703 patent is that it only applies to part of Limelight’s service offering. While the patent is very broad and potentially could mean more than just CDNs are infringing, think ad networks, web hosting companies etc… the patent only has to do with cached content that is delivered to a browser, which is the key point.

Live streaming, software downloads, application acceleration, delivery to a device etc… are not infringing as they are either not cached or not delivered to a browser. So not everything on Limelight’s network is in violation of the 703 patent. I don’t know what percentage of Limelight’s traffic or revenue is outside of the 703 patent but that would be interesting to know.

As for Microsoft, many are thinking that Microsoft may now be worried since they licensed Limelight’s technology. But what exactly did they license? Neither company has ever said. And since the 703 patent is very specific in what it covers, is Microsoft really worried that Akamai is going to come after them for licensing Limelight’s technology? Of course not. And based on what exactly Microsoft licensed, it is very possible that it has nothing to do with anything pertaining to the Akamai and Limelight suit. It’s all speculation at this point until someone says exactly what Microsoft licensed.