Akamai: A Cure for Medical Process Patent’s Prometheus Ailment?

by Joanna Liebes

Despite all of the industry and academic focus on the recent Supreme Court case Mayo v. Prometheus, without the Federal Circuit’s Akamai v. Limelight Networks decision, many medical process patents may be worthless. This note discusses the problem of subject matter eligibility for medical process patents after Mayo v. Prometheus, as it relates to the likelihood of infringement of those patents. After the Mayo decision, practitioners are attempting to redraft claims to ensure they contain patent eligible subject matter, but in doing so, they may be drafting claims that are impossible to directly infringe. This note proposes that the Akamai decision effectively provided a solution to this problem by readdressing the law of divided infringement in the inducement context. This note explores the prominent cases leading up to both decisions and analyzes an exemplary medical process claim to highlight the difficulties erected by Mayo and how Akamai may help overcome them.