Cable & Wireless, Akamai call truce on patent lawsuits

FRAMINGHAM (11/07/2003) - Ending a back-and-forth legal scuffle that began more than three years ago, Cable & Wireless plc and Akamai Technologies Inc. Friday announced they are dropping the handful of patent infringement lawsuits that they have filed against each other.

As part of their agreement, C&W has agreed to dismiss lawsuits it filed against Akamai in Boston, San Francisco and London, claiming that Akamai's EdgeSuite services infringe on C&W's content delivery patents. For its part, Akamai agreed to dismiss several of the patent infringement lawsuits it had filed against C&W. Neither company admitted liability or provided any compensation as part of the agreement.

The two companies have been bickering over content-delivery patents since 2000, when Akamai fired the initial volley by claiming that Digital Island, later acquired by C&W, used Akamai-patented technology as part of its Footprint content delivery service. The agreement announced Friday, however, does not cover that case, in which a federal jury in Boston determined that C&W was indeed infringing on the Akamai patent.

C&W claims it no longer uses the technology in question, but Akamai is continuing to press for damages.

"A judge limited the scope of Akamai's claims to a CDN technology previously used by Cable & Wireless America to support a small number of customers. Cable & Wireless America expects any damages that might be awarded to be immaterial to its business," C&W said in a statement.

Also as part of the agreement announced Friday, the companies must refrain from suing each other for five years over existing patents and services.

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