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Akamai Wins Lawsuit to Protect Obvious Patent

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the keeping-things-locked-down dept.

Patents 173

brandaman writes "Akamai, the largest content delivery network (CDN) with about 70% market share, recently won its lawsuit against the against second largest CDN - Limelight Networks. The suit asserted that Limelight was infringing on Akamai's patent which, upon examination, seems to be somewhat on the obvious side. 'In accordance with the invention, however, a base HTML document portion of a Web page is served from the Content Provider's site while one or more embedded objects for the page are served from the hosting servers, preferably, those hosting servers near the client machine. By serving the base HTML document from the Content Provider's site, the Content Provider maintains control over the content.' Limelight is obviously not pleased, and this is not the first lawsuit Akamai has won regarding its patents."

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Against the Against? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618528)

Whatever. Good summary.

I'm in trouble now. (5, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618552)

I guess I'd better shut down BlogPuzzles.net [blogpuzzles.net] immediately, since it obviously infringes on Akamai's patent. My site allows people to host a base HTML document, with embedded content (puzzles) being hosted on my servers. This is clearly unlicensed use of Akamai's intellectual property. While I'm at it, I'd better warn Google [google.com] before they get involved in a real financial nightmare over content hosted on their servers and integrated into other peoples' websites. Now, where did I stick that attorney's phone number?

Google has used Akamai's network (2, Informative)

hostguy2004 (818334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618652)

Actually, Google has used Akamai technology and services. Google.com DNS was hosted by Akamai, and some of their other services use Akamai for content delivery such as YouTube. As Google has grown, they have become less reliant on Akamai.

Akamai Made Microsoft Run on Linux (4, Informative)

miller60 (554835) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619180)

Microsoft's use of Akamai in 2003 gained attention when it made it appear that Microsoft's web site was running on Linux [netcraft.com] . In actuality it was just the Akamai caching servers using Linux. Like Google, they've since shifted to using more of their own network [datacenterknowledge.com] as well as Limelight and Savvis (now Level 3).

Re:I'm in trouble now. (5, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618824)

Sorry, but you're not even close.

The way Akamai works is it distributes the "heavy duty" content like images, scripts. to its own servers all around the world. It then lets its customers (like E*Trade, to pick one actual example) modify their static HTML content to refer to those images in a special way. For example, the E*Trade home page has the following link in it for one of its images:

https://a248.e.akamai.net/n/248/1777/20080228.0/www.etrade.com/images/prospect/topGrad.gif [akamai.net]

The url is specially encoded in such a way that when your local DNS server queries a248.e.akamai.net, the DNS server returns a server located physically near you. So if you're in England a248.e.akamai.net might resolve to an IP located in Londan, but in New York City it would resolve to an IP somewhere in New York. Then when the http request is sent, Akamais servers decode that annoyingly long URL to determine which customer of theirs it is and serve up the correct image. It's actually a fairly complex and fast process. If the server that you're directed to doesn't actually have the image locally then that Akamai server will query another nearby Akamai server. If that server also doesn't have it then it'll actually pull the image down from a master server that E*Trade uploaded the image to.

You can test this out yourself by looking up the IP address of a248.e.akamai.net yourself. Locally you'll get one IP. If you do a google search for dns lookup tools you can submit that domain name to other sites to look it up and you'll get totally different IP's that are physically close to wherever that domain lookup tool runs from.

The bottom line is that it's a prety complex process that involves both the use of DNS to ensure you download large chunks of content from physically near servers as well as some pretty sophisticated caching in the background to make sure static content is delivered rapidly no matter where in the world you are.

I used to work at Akamai so I have a pretty good firsthand knowledge of how their stuff works. I doubt a lot of their algorithms they use would pass the "obviousness" test...

Re:I'm in trouble now. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618930)

GP was meant to be a humorous reference to the fact that most people around here only read the article summaries, not the article content itself. Good insights, though!

Business Method Patents Suck. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619348)

I used to work at Akamai so I have a pretty good firsthand knowledge of how their stuff works. I doubt a lot of their algorithms they use would pass the "obviousness" test...

With all due respect to the cleverness of the algorithm, your employer and yourself, software patents suck. A general method was patented which means that no other algorithm can do the same thing, no matter how clever. That's why software and business method patents suck life - they claim methods not real inventions. Because no method is ever really an invention, neither is an algorithm which is just a formal statement of methods.

This lawsuit cost Limelight $45 million bucks and it will cost us all much more as a monopoly has been granted on one of the few practical ways to move media around the internet from a central site. There are countless services that use this kind of method to share load out to a pool of participating machines, preferably close to the user. Hopefully the bastards won't be able to get Debian's NTP pool of the DNS system. What's left for media distribution is Alkamai and the much demonized and harassed P2P networks. How shitty.

Re:I'm in trouble now. (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619426)

I used to work at Akamai so I have a pretty good firsthand knowledge of how their stuff works. I doubt a lot of their algorithms they use would pass the "obviousness" test...
I'm reading the linked patent now, and I think the problem is that what is patented is not an algorithm, but a network architecture. This is furthermore a mucky issue because according to patent law, algorithms are not patentable. In the US "mental processes" are not patentable either. But the patent office grants "algorithm" patents so long as the submitter is implementing it in hardware or software. Oddly enough, even things like RLE are patented even though they can easily be done in your head.

I am not familiar with this particular case, but the big issue here is that Akamai might be trying to patent the general concept of distributing cache servers around the world. This is the kind of thing that the patent office should not allow. If I have a better way to do this, or even the same way, I should be allowed to do it. Akamai is the leader in this industry and they are well set and nobody is going to knock them off the map suddenly one day by copying them. They don't need patent protection. Furthermore, this is the kind of thing any group of competent developers can create, and 10 different groups would have 10 different ways of doing it. Even if a patent is appropriate here, it should not be used to squash similar competing services.

Re:I'm in trouble now. (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619650)

So if you're in England a248.e.akamai.net might resolve to an IP located in Londan, but in New York City it would resolve to an IP somewhere in New York.

Great. I wonder if the fact that DNS was specifically designed with this sort of thing in mind undermines Akamai's inventiveness here?

Of course it's pretty pointless speculating here, since TFA has exactly zero information about what's specifically being infringed here: could be something of substance, or could be the old "use a more or less complex implementation to get a ridiculously broad patent and then sue everyone solving the same problem" approach.

Re:I'm in trouble now. (1)

Cramer (69040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619762)

I doubt a lot of their algorithms they use would pass the "obviousness" test...
They might not have been very obvious when Akamai started, but they're pretty obvious today. Crafting a DNS response based on who asked has been common practice for several years now -- "views" in bind. Akamai blends what with web proxies and network geography to send you to a proxy logically close to you, obviously preferring proxies within your ISP's network. ('tho not all ISP's host Akamai cache servers, which is sorta stupid as they'll give them to you. and they can save a huge amount of bandwidth.)

Re:I'm in trouble now. (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619792)

Great job there, throwing a slashdot effect at a page border.

It may be obvious but (3, Insightful)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618562)

As I am not a lawyer, it was not obvious to me what they were patenting.

Is this patenting having the html on one server and the rest (pictures etc) on other ones?

If it is that, I think there should be some prior art in the original stuff from Tim Berners-Lee.

Re:It may be obvious but (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618618)

Is this patenting having the html on one server and the rest (pictures etc) on other ones?

Apparently only in the specific case of having the "other ones" be distributed across the network and with the "closest" server to the client chosen to download the content from.

I suppose that things like mirrors, etc. don't count because in that case the user typically chooses what they believe to be the closest server rather than the host or akamai.

Re:It may be obvious but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618738)

They patented making that little step automatic. When you consider that it's just using anycast DNS, it's painfully obvious.

Re:It may be obvious but (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618630)


I can't find it, but somebody patented storage in the door of a refrigerator. That seems obvious, but a true improvement. They had 17 years to exploit the monopoly on refrigerators with door storage.

My wife worked at a paper company. They had patents on how to cut cardboard to make containers (french fry boxes, etc)

Obvious stuff can be patented.

Re:It may be obvious but (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618688)

Obvious stuff can be patented.
In practice. In theory, that's not supposed to happen. But the patent system, like the cake, is a lie. Patent monopolies exist to prevent free markets.

People pereenially confuse the theory of the patent system (reward the poor starving inventors) with its actual empirical effects (allowing corporatist elites to control innovation and the very direction of a technological society).

Re:It may be obvious but (2, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618988)

Cutting boxes to minimize waste and facilitate processing can be solutions to VERY nonobvious problems easily desrving patents.

Re:It may be obvious but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619136)

NOTHING "deserves" a patent. Patents should be abolished.

Re:It may be obvious but (1)

shadowkiller137 (1169097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619612)

no patents for major corporations should be abolished not ones for small inventors, if they aren't protected the major corporations will just steal the person's idea (which could be the only thing that could keep his family fed) for a percentage increase in their stock value

Re:It may be obvious but (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619798)

What happens when the small inventor and his portfolio of a few patents starts a corporation that turns out to be highly successful?

Re:It may be obvious but (2, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618858)

It's a combination of modified URL's in the static HDML, DNS trickery that causes those URL's to be downloaded from servers physically close to you, and smart caching of that content. It basically provides a way of ensuring that static content like images, which take up a lot of bandwidth compared to HTML documents, is downloaded from servers physically near you and not from the companies primary server. It dramatically speeds up the loading of web pages no matter where the requests come from, and offloads a lot of processing & network utilization from the site serving up the HTML.

I posted more details in a reply here [slashdot.org] if you want a little more insight into how they do it.

Only parts are very obvious (5, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618882)

I am also not a lawyer, but I have written over ten patents and read many.

As in many of these "obvious patent" trolling articles, the article/summary oversimplify the patent. The patent does not just claim click here, fetch there redirection which is used by just about every major site, but algorithms for doing the load balancing etc.

If you read some of the claims, then you'll see that various algorithms are used for load balancing and other purposes. While these might be obvious to some, they are extremely obvious to all.

The test of "obvious" is also not that clear cut. IIRC, the tests is "reasonably obvious to practitioners of the art". This test should be applied to the state of the art as at the time of the patent, because a patent "teaches" the industry and therefore after the disclosure the less-than-obvious become obvious.

They are talking about Edge Side Includes (2, Interesting)

daBass (56811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618932)

I would assume they are talking about Edge Side Includes [akamai.com] and not simply about the serving of images.

ESI is like Server Side Includes, except that the included part resides on the Edge servers. So your server would serve a page with only the content personalized to you specifically (like the fact that you are logged in) but a box full of news headlines that everyone sees would be included by the edge server.

Not entirely obvious, but I am not so sure it warrants patent protection in any case.

Re:It may be obvious but (3, Interesting)

tambo (310170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619094)

As I am not a lawyer, it was not obvious to me what they were patenting.

Let's start first with the definition of "obviousness." Patent law doesn't go by the common English or Webster's definitions of the term - it has a very technical meaning, refined by probably a thousand patent law cases. Many nuances. And unhelpfully, the definitive section [uspto.gov] on the topic is circularly defined.

At least two reasons for the technicalities. First, virtually anything is "obvious" in hindsight. Second, what is "obvious" to one (unbiased) person may be completely non-obvious to another (unbiased) person, and the patent office would produce radically inconsistent results if examiners were permitted such subjectivity.

- David Stein

What is actually being patented (1)

sholsinger (1131365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619418)

... is the service of providing a network with which to do what the parent is suggesting. Additionally they provide geo-location-specific servers that enable faster connections to said content.

If you have static content that infrequently changes this is the best way to distribute that type of content. However, usually it tends to be really large, or frequently requested static content. Although, this can actually decrease perceived performance and speed from the users' perspective because their web browser now needs to request objects from another server. And depending on Akamai's system possibly multiple geographically close servers. This type of situation tends to take longer to download things like images because the client machine needs to query the IP address for yet another server. And then of course actually initalize a connection to that machine, which it has already completed with the initial server to download the HTML document.

Yahoo! has been offering this type of service for a long time. (since Geocities) yimg.com is the top-level domain for all of their image hosting servers. Which are spread out across the world. Images are given a unique id and then requested, IPs being resolved in a similar manner to what Akamai does. It is my opinion that they may hold the oldest prior art in this situation.

Everything is obvious (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618594)

in retrospect.

The sex and violence of a patent is in the claims. go read em [uspto.gov] and now look at the date the patent was filed: May 19, 1999.. which means it was being written for 6 to 8 months before that. You're saying that rewriting urls in a web page to fetch objects from geographically different servers was obvious in late 1998?

Not defending the patent system in the US or anything, but claiming that something is "obvious" now when the patent was filed in '99 is pretty freakin', well, obvious!

Re:Everything is obvious (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618692)

You're saying that rewriting urls in a web page to fetch objects from geographically different servers was obvious in late 1998?

Yes.

Well, maybe not if you were in high school then. But to people actually doing content delivery over the web, yes. And there were starting to be big web sites around even then.

Re:Everything is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618898)

In 1999 or 2000, JCPenney started using Akamai for content delivery in support of JCPenney's online catalogue / web site.

Re:Everything is obvious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618758)

You're saying that rewriting urls in a web page to fetch objects from geographically different servers was obvious in late 1998?

Yes its obvious. I remember discussing this in an ISP operators mailing list over 10 years ago.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

prxp (1023979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618786)

I had some pages back in 97 where many objects (mostly images) were loaded from geographically different servers. Do I get a piece of this? How should I proceed to get my money?

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619034)

You can't, because you didn't file a patent for it!

Re:Everything is obvious (3, Insightful)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618798)

> You're saying that rewriting urls in a web page to fetch objects
> from geographically different servers was obvious in late 1998?

Technically, yes. Remember Image bandwidth-stealing? A guy hosting images would find others not only presenting those images in a different website, but to add insult to injury, would load those images from _his_ servers? (i.e. they had modified their IMG tags to load images from the unwitting originator.) Now, if the originating servers were clustered and/or geographically distributed, you've got a setup just like Akamai.

This problem is almost as old as graphical browsers themselves.

Re:Everything is obvious (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618966)

Besides which, the patent is about computers and I'm using a computer, so it is obvious!

Seriously, the arguments geeks make against patents are just brain farts.

Re:Everything is obvious (2, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619024)

A guy hosting images would find others not only presenting those images in a different website, but to add insult to injury, would load those images from _his_ servers? (i.e. they had modified their IMG tags to load images from the unwitting originator.) Now, if the originating servers were clustered and/or geographically distributed, you've got a setup just like Akamai.

Not really. What you describe is basically just offloading static images to an unsuspecting third party. If it's a popular website then that third part webserver will just choke under the load, causing problems for all the people visiting the original site. Akamai uses DNS tricks and other slight of hand to dynamically ensure images & other content are downloaded from servers physically close to you. So even if you and I visit the same website the images I receive will be downloaded from one server (close to me) and the images you receive will be from a different server (close to you). Those servers use some pretty sophisticated caching & content sharing algorithms to ensure the content is available when needed. It's the combination of DNS tricks & caching that is what makes Akamai work, and it's the algorithms involved in all that trickery that they're protecting. Take a look at my post here [slashdot.org] for a bit more detail.

Re:Everything is obvious (2, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619428)

There may be all sorts of trickery involved in what makes Akamai work, but the patent covers more than that trickery. It covers any system where a webserver modifies a URL to include a hostname whose DNS entry is served up by two DNS servers in the system, and whose content is served up by a host other than the webserver.

For examle, if I have a webserver at example.com, and it modifies image URLs within it to point to foo.bar.example.com, and there's an 'example.com' DNS server which contains the NS record for 'bar.example.com', and a 'bar.example.com' which has an A record pointing 'foo.bar.example.com' to some machine other than example.com, I've infringed claim 1 of the patent. If there are two nameservers for example.com, I've also infringed claim 2. If there are two nameservers for bar.example.com, I've infringed claim 3.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619510)

Yeah, it's more than just links to an outside server, it's links to an outside server that's close to you and has the data.

But, that's pretty damn obvious. Round-robin DNS for load-balancing is an old and obvious technology. Instead of spreading the load in strict order, or by load average, you'd instead uses a lookup table of IPs to physical locations.

And that's pretty trivial. I've seen MUDs in the 80s that knew where you were connecting from.

Caching is "hard", in that hairy issues exist, but simple enough to do what you describe. If a request isn't cached, tell the server to do so, ideally while it keeps the initial connection open to serve what the upstream request returns. Preemptively cache related content.

Sure, there are improvements over those basic strategies. Stick a bunch of smart people in a room and they'll come up with stuff all day. But the basics were all there years ago and none of this is really far out.

Do we really need to patent this? Are the people at Akamai so pathetic that without the government enforcing a monopoly, as in being willing to use force to shut down their competitors, that they don't stand a chance? If so, how pathetic. If not, then what the hell do they need a government granted monopoly for? Nothing, just that their competitors all have equally stupid patents and it would be discrimination not to allow Akamai after letting everyone else...

Re:Everything is obvious (4, Interesting)

Alomex (148003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619312)

I was doing web caching at the time (I had my hands very early on on the original hotspots paper by Akamai's founders). When I learned of the embedded elements redirection I found the Akamai idea totally non-obvious and far more reaching in terms of web caching than their hotspots contribution. Of course, once I saw it, all I could say was "what didn't I think of that, its so obvious!"

Re:Everything is obvious (2, Insightful)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618814)

No, it was way obvious by then.  You must not be old enough to remember.

And even so, it is in no way a brilliant idea.  I was making web pages with content sucked from multiple sites in 1994, and I was no genius.

It may not be obvious to a non-technical judge or jury, however, even today.

MOD PARENT DOWN - GOATSE LINK! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618860)

nice use of TT font, you attention whoring cocksmoker. Mommy not paying enough attention to you?

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN - GOATSE LINK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619202)

then again.. maybe he's right, maybe you aren't old enough.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619056)

It may not be obvious to a non-technical judge or jury, however, even today.

Which is really the core of the whole issue, isn't it? Obvious TO WHOM? Under patent law, that "whom" is "a person skilled in the art." In other words, a techie. Now, a lot of techies are vile, petty, competitive creatures with a great disdain for humanity as a whole. For reference, see Slashdot (http://www.slashdot.org/). Of course we are going to find numerous tech professionals who will claim that any damn thing under the Sun is "obvious" just because of ego.

The root of the patent issue is in determining who, out of the millions employed in the tech sector, qualifies as a person "skilled in the art." Everybody thinks they are skilled. Few actually are. But there is a great social incentive to pretend that one is skilled, even if one is not, that surpasses such tendencies in almost any other field except the hard sciences. Nobody that I know of is ashamed of being only a "mediocre" car mechanic, for instance. Most people understand that the majority of individuals are "average." Except, of course, in the tech field, where we all believe ourselves to be geniuses.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619602)

Perhaps because 'we', presumably uber-logical geeks, are smarter than everyone else. Maybe not by touchy-feely standards of IQ, but by the metric of being able to better parse complex statements, or design complex systems, yes.

As to smarter than other techs? Well, there are many people who assume that because they didn't know how to do something it must be black magic. There are others who know, from experience, that there is little you can't do well with a well-intentioned group of smart developers. (Polish to release, get in under budget, those are hard, but actually accomplishing the specific bit of tech, usually fairly easy.)

The problem is that 'obvious to whom' is the wrong question. We need to say, given similar funding and goals, would other teams be likely to discover this. In other words, if you advertised and did a talent search, would anyone be able to figure it out.

I guess that most thing which aren't obvious are that way merely because nobody asked those questions. At that point, we're giving business-model patents instead of tech patents, because the tech is often trivial (one-click) but Amazon's idea did speed up e-commerce. It's kind of like the Oscar's, they miss rewarding a good movie one year so they give the director his 'just rewards' a year later, for a crappier movie.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619178)

Yes, but did you suck the content from the site nearest the requesting user? This patent doesn't cover pulling content from somewhere other than the server that offered the HTML document, it covers algorithms that determine which server is best able to provide content to a particular user.

Re:Everything is obvious (3, Insightful)

bit01 (644603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618834)

in retrospect.

No it is not, and your hand waving is not helping. The PTO loves to push this self-serving nonsense as if it were fact. People are perfectly capable of evaluating whether something is obvious or not after the fact. They don't mystically lose their intelligence simply because they have more facts at their disposal.

This is obvious, if for no other reason than the HTTP/HTML protocols have built in the ability to get different elements of the one the page from different servers and to URL redirect a client from one server to another plus the address rewriting rules in popular servers like Apache. All of these capabilities existed for years before this "patent". Not to mention DNS referral, caching, network throttling etc. which existed for decades before this "patent". Don't be fooled by patent "claims" which list standard techniques together and then claim the assembly is somehow "different".

Face it, this "patent" is blindingly obvious to anybody with even basic training in networking. The fact that this got through just shows how incompetent the PTO is. Not surprising, given the chutzpah of claiming that the bureaucrats in a small government department can assess against all of human knowledge for whether an idea is original or not. Only a scientist working a life time in a very narrow area can do that and even then they make mistakes.

---

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

Re:Everything is obvious (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618922)

Actually, around 1998, a DNS server that returned a different IP address for a lookup based on who the request is for was not only novel, it was considered WRONG. Geographical load balancing was your typical dot-com boom idea.

plus the address rewriting rules in popular servers like Apache.
Evidence that you didn't even read the patent.. and you have the audacity to call the PTO incompetent. Not saying they're not, just saying that you shouldn't be throwing stones here.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619138)

"Actually, around 1998, a DNS server that returned a different IP address for a lookup based on who the request is for was not only novel, it was considered WRONG."

Yet nothing about that makes the patent non-obvious to someone in the field, which is how the USPTO is supposed to rate obviousness, not whether the RFC happened to concur with the idea. I specifically remembering thinking that the patent was so bloody obvious that I couldn't believe it had been granted in the first place.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619228)

Actually, around 1998, a DNS server that returned a different IP address for a lookup based on who the request is for was not only novel, it was considered WRONG.

It's just caching at a different network layer. Big deal.

Geographical load balancing was your typical dot-com boom idea.

No it was not. "Geographical load balancing" is just an obfuscated name for "caching", something that had been known about for decades. One of the big problems with the PTO is that they are endlessly confusing invented terminology with inventions. Not surprising the shifting sands of semantics their entire operation is based, on made worse by the amorphousness of software: What is *significantly* different? what is *significantly* innovative? When is a blob of software different? It's all hand waving.

plus the address rewriting rules in popular servers like Apache.

Evidence that you didn't even read the patent..

I read all the claims, which you said yourself is the meat. What evidence? I was referring to the fact that URL rewriting in general was well understood.

and you have the audacity to call the PTO incompetent.

Not a problem given their consistent track record, particularly in software.

Not saying they're not, just saying that you shouldn't be throwing stones here.

Whatever. I, like most people, do not have the time to wade through all the verbiage generated by all the fruitcakes on the planet. Yet another problem with the PTO; the idea that it's reasonable to do a detailed review of thousands of patents to check for infringement every time you try to do something creative.

---

A neurotic is the man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent. - Jerome Lawrence

Re:Everything is obvious (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618840)

I don't care about the 5-digit ID. Are you new here?

All patents are obvious to the arrogant geek "geniuses" around slashdot! In fact thousands of people around would have patented this and all other things first if they weren't too busy reading other patent applications and saying "Oh thats obvious, I would have thought of that!"

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619000)

Yeah, couldn't agree more. Makes ya wonder if Eli Whitney had to put up with his contemporaries saying "brushing cotton?! Pah, that's so obvious. I have my slaves do that all the time.. this is such an obvious patent."

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618846)

You're saying that rewriting urls in a web page to fetch objects from geographically different servers was obvious in late 1998

No, I don't think that is what is being said. It was obvious to some people in 1992.

Re:Everything is obvious (3, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618856)

Well, since HTML, circa 1993, was designed to allow for referencing external components. Rewriting URLs was a fundamental principal for serving pages and applications, which existed since at least 1996 that I'm aware of, as I did it then. Add in to that that commercial IP blocks are owned by companies with definite locality, and I'm not sure what part of Akamai's patent isn't stating things that were already in existence.

It was already stated that algorithms cannot be patented. And that's all that Akamai seems to have. Not withstanding that there's several thousand people skilled in the arts that would have come up with the same or similar solutions to the problem set.

Re:Everything is obvious (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618876)

I did some web design for a company around 93-94 (I can't remember exactly when, Netscape 2 was either new and shiny, or just about to be new and shiny, and most people used Mosaic). Because they wanted to be able to modify the page easily, they wanted to host it locally. Since they only had an ISDN line, I put their images on the web space provided by the ISP (slow to update, but lots of capacity) and the HTML on their computer. More recently, but well before 1998, I helped my school IT department set the proxy headers on their site to allow proxies to cache the images for much longer than the rest of the page. Neither of these was particularly new and exciting when I did it, it was just what people did to overcome obvious problems.

There are two parts to a non-obvious invention. Either it has to be a solution to a problem that is not obviously a problem, or it has to be a solution to a (potentially obvious) problem that isn't something anyone would think of. The problem that HTML pages change a lot and big binaries don't but take a lot of bandwidth is an obvious problem. The solution of caching the binary bits near the client is an obvious solution.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618948)

And none of those things you just described is what the patent is about. Go and read the patent already.

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

Cramer (69040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619896)

You're missing the all-important DNS Voodoo of the Akamai system. When a user in ISP A's network looks up the host of your image tag, Akamai will return an IP within ISP A's network because they have a local Akamai cache server. Similarly, a user in ISP B's network will be directed to ISP B's local Akamai cache. For users in ISP C's network, who doesn't have a local cache, Akamai will return a cache server close to ISP C -- where "close" depends on network topology.

Everyone who hit your setup retreived the images from the same location.

By 1996 you could already BUY a system to do it... (4, Interesting)

kriegsman (55737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619356)

Well, it was pretty obvious then, at least to people in the business, especially considering that at least one earlier CDN patent (e.g., US Pat. 5,991,809, originally filed as provisional pat. 60/022,598, filed on July 25, 1996 [uspto.gov] , by me) had already been granted and therefore made completely public in 1997. Clearway Technologies (my company) was already selling a commercial off-the-shelf CDN implementation system starting in September of 1996. Akamai's success has been substantial, and I feel it is truly well-deserved, but they were not the first to invent a CDN, nor the first to patent it, nor the first to bring it to commercialize it.

-Mark Kriegsman
Founder, Clearway Technologies

Re:Everything is obvious (1)

tuomoks (246421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619450)

Yes, very obvious. Drop modifying URL ( or any other mechanism to identify ) - it has been obvious a long, long time. Drop modifying DNS ( or any other mechanism to identify source and/or origin ) - obvious a long, long time ago. And so on. Does anyone remember when ordering cars or car parts using a computer in 80's. Let's see - at least Toyota did that, I think Nissan and Volvo maybe at the same time. The requests got distributed depending of system, network and locality to a link to Japan, the country main location and if they had a local dealership with a system there also. So, this kind of processing is nothing new. Actually airlines used similar processing in a world wide network in 70's already. It wasn't for public but the mechanism was much the same except the systems were much more complicated because of the logistics. That the service is now offered by an external company should not be worth of a patent - they can copyright their code but patenting methods / algorithms? Weird because if we let acronym (URL, DNS, IP, SDLC, etc) usage and manipulation be patented it will be a wild west again.

Re:Everything is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619856)

I know very little about web technologies and do mostly embedded design, but it was obvious to me and was used on the first web page that I ever wrote (one of three since 1993), running on a linux box in 1997 over dial up. I wanted to show my friends that I had a web server (using a dynamically assigned aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd IP addr) running in my bed room.


Obviously I didn't want pictures going over this wire, so I just pointed elsewhere to an online picture of me. I also wrote to a friend telling him that eventially there only needed to be a few web servers in the world (OK, I was wrong on this one), but in the same letter I also pointed out that you could find a person's location with an IP addr.

So I didn't come up with the idea of pulling off of the nearest server for content, but then I wasn't looking to solve that problem. With about 2-3 minutes of thought I would have arrived at what sounds to me so far as pretty obvious.

So they can sue the Internet???? (0)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618648)

WTF? A "Global hosting sytem", wouldn't that be considered the Internet? So now every website in the woruld is infringing a stupid patent from a patent trool?

Wow, forget a nuclear war or global warming, theres how the world could end (for me at least): Scamming lawyers suing the Internet and shutting it down...

Re:So they can sue the Internet???? (0, Offtopic)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618690)

So now every website in the woruld is infringing a stupid patent from a patent trool?
You know, your (presumed) spelling error reminds us all to watch out for astroturfing Akamai employees in discussions on this topic. See the definition of Trool [urbandictionary.com] on the Urban Dictionary site.

Re:So they can sue the Internet???? (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618900)

What Akamai does is run a global network of servers that serve as a smart cache for the content of their customers data. E*Trade, for example, is a customer of theirs. When you go to www.etrade.com you get the static HTML document from the E*Trade server but the static images are downloaded from an Akamai caching server that's located physically close to you (meaning fewer network hops to you than the actual E*Trade server). By pulling images and other static content from servers physically close to you it not only speeds up your use of their website but it offloads a lot of work from the main E*Trade servers and lowers their network utilization. So the "global hosting system" they refer to is this custom distributed cache that they run on servers located all over the world. I posted a bit more detail about how Akamais network works in this [slashdot.org] reply.

Non-obviousness (5, Insightful)

Prime Mover (149173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618674)

Just did a report about business patents. Non-obviousness, a requirement of Patents (35 USC 102?), isn't proven by looking at something and saying "Duh!" You need to show prior art preferably enough prior art examples to cover all of Akamai's claims.

Re:Non-obviousness - mod parent up (5, Insightful)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618702)

Damn, and I just used my mod points... people need to start realizing that the best way to argue against a patent is not by saying "but so-and-so did this", but to tell the USPTO (or find somebody who will tell them [eff.org] ) that "so-and-so did this"...

Re:Non-obviousness - mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619026)

but to tell the USPTO (or find somebody who will tell them) that "so-and-so did this"...

Unfortunately, challenging the patent at the USPTO isn't free.

Re:Non-obviousness - mod parent up (2, Informative)

Titoxd (1116095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619104)

That's why you funnel resources to organizations that are already doing this, like the EFF's Patent Busting project, which I linked above. Economies of scale and all that.

Re:Non-obviousness (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618854)

You need to show prior art preferably enough prior art examples to cover all of Akamai's claims.
Actually each claim is required to be nonobvious by itself. You can invalidate single claims by showing prior art for them. And nonobviousness is 35 U.S.C. 103.

Re:Non-obviousness (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619020)

Just did a report about business patents. Non-obviousness, a requirement of Patents (35 USC 102?), isn't proven by looking at something and saying "Duh!" You need to show prior art preferably enough prior art examples to cover all of Akamai's claims.

I'm not sure that I understand you properly. You are saying that if you can find prior art, this proves obviousness. In other words, the fact that somebody thought of it, makes it obvious, i.e., all things are obvious. Since this is clearly not what you mean, could you please clarify?

Re:Non-obviousness (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619658)

The prior art has to be dated at least one year prior to the "priority date" which in most cases is the application filing date.

Re:Non-obviousness (1)

frankenheinz (976104) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619030)

I think you confuse the [independent] requirements of non-obviousness (35USC103) and novelty (35USC102).

Re:Non-obviousness (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619498)

Non-obviousness, a requirement of Patents (35 USC 102?), isn't proven by looking at something and saying "Duh!" You need to show prior art

So, the first person to do something obvious gets a patent on it?

Apparently the patent system is working as intended, after all.

Technological ignorance in the legal profession (3, Insightful)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618682)

I think this case proves it. They're simply not aware of the technical implementations of popular sites out there, leading to these sort of stupid cases.

Many advertisers will fall fowl of this, since many sites have ad content that is served up by another server which is not their own.

Re:Technological ignorance in the legal profession (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618978)

Ad sites might not fall into this. Akamai is protecting an entire system that involves the dynamic distribution of cached static content through it's servers around the world and the use of DNS tricks to ensure that any user who needs that content gets it from the server closest to him/her. It's much more than just displaying images from another server. The only way an advertiser would run into problems is if they developed their own in-house dynamic caching system for the delivery of their ads. I think most advertisers use a handful of static servers for content delivery unless they rely on CDN companies like Akamai or LimeLight.

Re:Technological ignorance in the legal profession (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619120)

And guess what, you can't expect them to. I do not expect them to understand the inner workings of the internet or the www ot html. You can't ask me to have basic knowledge of particle physics or advanced chemistry. It doesn't matter if I am a judge or not. If that was the case, the requirements to be a judge would be ridicilously high. So high, that no normal person could do it. I expect judges to know their way when it comes to the law and common knowledge things(geography, calculations etc.). For the rest I consider impartial(so no "experts" for hire) experts neccesairy.

Re:Technological ignorance in the legal profession (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619132)

Well, if you note here, the JURY decided this case. Surely both sided put up experts - one saying it was obvious or anticipated and one saying it was neither. The jury, for whatever reason, agreed with the wrong expert. I would not place blame for technical ignorance on the "legal profession" but instead on the public.

If the "legal profession" is a fault in any way here, it's that the defendants' attorneys failed to persuade the jury. This would be a preparation, style, or personality issue, but not a technical one. You can bet both sides knew the tech very well, and you can bet the plaintiffs would purposely portray things in a confusing way to make things appear non-obvious. Opposite goes for the defendants, who would portray everything as very simple and obvious.

Of course, it's likely the judge had a crack at throwing this out on summary judgment, but judges often will let the jury decide since they they don't want to be reversed on appeal. It's a lot easier to overturn a judge than a jury verdict, and judges know this better than anyone.

The Law's failing us. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618708)

Or, at the very least, the lawmakers and law-interpreters are. Am I the only one who thinks it's time to start taking it into our own hands?

And no, I'm not talking about some juvenile prank involving a web site.

Hm (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618712)

So JavaScript-based RSS feeds violate the patent, correct? The HTML is served from one or more possibly distributed servers while the owner of the RSS feed has control of the RSS feed's content.

Re:Hm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618842)

Yeah all those RSS feeds back in 1998. Fucktard.

Re:Hm (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619616)

I didn't say their patent wasn't valid, I was just asking a valid question considering I know of a few sites that use them.

Software patents do not work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22618774)

How many times that has to be proven?

For the small religious subset of Slashdotters... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22618954)

it's time to pray for that upcoming Supreme Court decision that will cover the scope of what's patentable.

Re:For the small religious subset of Slashdotters. (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619554)

The supreme court can only interpret laws, they can't create them. Try picking up the phone and calling your local congressman/woman.

Re:For the small religious subset of Slashdotters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619684)

The supreme court can only interpret laws, they can't create them.

Hahaha. They do it all the time. Go look up Miranda or "Terry Stops".

Akamai win a dilemma for Microsoft? (1)

1sockchuck (826398) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619068)

Microsoft is partnering with Limelight to build its own CDN network [datacenterknowledge.com] . They're probably the biggest of Limelight's 1,150 customers, but there are plenty of other big companies using Limelight. If the judge issues an injunction, they might have tough decisions, as Limelight has said an injunction might force them to shut down their CDN. Appeals would stretch things out, but customers don't like uncertainty.

What a ridiculous summary (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619098)

In at least two fundamental ways. First, the summary quoted the abstract of the patent, not the claims. The abstract is almost always a simplified extract of the contents of the patent and rarely has any meat to it. Of course it looks obvious.

READ THE CLAIMS TO FIND OUT WHAT IS BEING COVERED BY THE PATENT!!

Here is claim 1:

1. A distributed hosting framework operative in a computer network in which users of client machines connect to a content provider server, the framework comprising:

a routine for modifying at least one embedded object URL of a web page to include a hostname pretended to a domain name and path;

a set of content servers, distinct from the content provider server, for hosting at least some of the embedded objects of web pages that are normally hosted by the content provider server;

at least one first level name server that provides a first level domain name service (DNS) resolution; and

at least one second level name server that provides a second level domain name service (DNS) resolution;

wherein in response to requests for the web page, generated by the client machines the web page including the modified embedded object URL is served from the content provider server and the embedded object identified by the modified embedded object URL is served from a given one of the content servers as identified by the first level and second level name servers.

Doesn't seem so obvious now, does it?

The second is the fact is that Akamai is a very innovative company that has pioneered a lot of distributed content delivery starting with the early days of the internet. In my mind it is very obvious that they would have a lot of valid patent material. They are most assuredly NOT patent trolls, and in fact have brought many innovations based on some very advanced work to commercial fruition. It is insane that their work is being shown in this light by Slashdot.

The company was founded by an MIT graduate student (Dan Lewin) and an applied math professor from MIT, Tom Leighton who is currently head of the algorithms group at at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Lewin was tragically killed when AA flight 11 was crashed during the 9-11 terrorist attack.

This article is one of the most ridiculous ever posted by Slashdot.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619242)

Doesn't seem so obvious now, does it?
Actually it does, just because they use many large words doesn't make what you quote anything but obvious. Christ, I mean the patent has 34 sections and you quote one of the most obvious of them.

You know what your quote says: "serve some of the parts of a webpage from other servers." In other words if you allow an easy way of hot linking of images then you meet the criteria.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (0, Troll)

Alomex (148003) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619362)

It is interesting to see the Dr. Watsons of slashdot criticizing the MIT Sherlocks for the obviousness of their inventions. Akamai's redirection trick was an "aha!" moment that was missed by all the early literature on web caching ([sarcasm] literature you surely are throughly familiar with, Dr Watson? [/sarcasm]).

Ten years later, what was an insightful trick is the technique de rigeur. Think packet switched networ for something that is now obvious but at the time was so revolutionary that it got its creators a Turing Award.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (2, Funny)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619542)

It's even more interesting to watch the Netherlanders of Slashdot try to defend Mr. Holmes, I mean it's actually beyond hilarious just how much of an idiot you apparently are. Christ, you can't even comprehend the couple sentences in my original post much less the patent itself. You quote the most obvious part of the patent that is used by nearly any website and the one part which has NOTHING to do with web caching. It's an overall basic descriptive section pure and simple, meant to be nothing but that and contains none of the guts of the patent. It's like quoting the definitions section of a math thesis and saying they're incredibly insightful. Only an utter nitwit would even consider that instead of quoting the guts of a thesis or the overall contributions of it.

I never said the patent is (or isn't) obvious, I simply said you're a moron who couldn't defend it's lack of obviousness if your life depended on it. Judging by some of the other replies to your post this seems to be not only my own opinion.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619624)

I'll spell it out for you:

No one before Akamai was doing this: "a routine for modifying at least one embedded object URL of a web page to include a hostname pretended to a domain name and path".

Now you call that obvious after the fact and without any knowledge of the subject, which just proves the point that you are a johnny-come-lately with a talent for using swear words but little else.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619898)

Yet that phrase has nothing to do with web caching, is simply doing that what they patented according to you? I'd be surprised if that method wasn't already used for logging outgoing links by that time and it's unlikely that that itself is an innovation of theirs.

It may or may not be innovative in terms of web caching however in that case their patent doesn't seem to be of much practical use. In fact since if you regard THAT as their chief innovation you must have a very low opinion of their ingenuity.

See it's easy enough to simply modify the url instead of pretending text to it, in fact that seems to be done more often than not with such services nowadays (see myspace for example which uses x.myspace.com). On the other hand if you say that modifying the url does in fact count then you're simply agreeing with the original slashdot summaries description of the patent.

There are ways to argue why this is innovative, the original poster is just too inept to use them apparently.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619272)

Doesn't seem so obvious now, does it?

Yes it fucking does, if you strip the patentese. Fuck you. And fuck Akamai. And fuck the USPTO and any yank fucks who support it.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (4, Insightful)

Wolfbone (668810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619404)

In at least two fundamental ways. First, the summary quoted the abstract of the patent, not the claims. The abstract is almost always a simplified extract of the contents of the patent and rarely has any meat to it. Of course it looks obvious.

READ THE CLAIMS TO FIND OUT WHAT IS BEING COVERED BY THE PATENT!!
I did. Where in claim 1 is the non-obvious meat you speak of that is not in the abstract?

Doesn't seem so obvious now, does it?
Why not?

The second is the fact is that Akamai is a very innovative company that has pioneered a lot of distributed content delivery... It is insane that their work is being shown in this light by Slashdot.
It is insane if that invention is Akamai's idea of a contribution to progress and disclosure thereof meriting a 20 year monopoly right to exclude.

This article is one of the most ridiculous ever posted by Slashdot.
Not really. The frequency with which articles are posted about hapless re-inventors getting caught out by dreadful patents like this one is rather tedious though.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (4, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619478)

Doesn't seem so obvious now, does it?

All I'm seeing is the same thing as the summary, just with more words.

If you think this is the sort of thing that needs patent protection, you are high; no matter how many "wherein"'s they throw in there.

I'm sure they are in fact a very innovative company, that doesn't stop this patent from being complete bullshit.

Re:What a ridiculous summary (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619594)

Loyalty a good argument does not make.

The patent is actually kinda obvious, actually actually. Whether it was obvious in 1999 when it was registered is another matter, but distributed content serving is certainly quite obvious now. Also, whether or not they're an innovative company is irrelevant if they're suing another company for infringing on their (obvious or not) patent specifically to stop them competing. That's the very definition of anti-competitive behavior, even if it's legally allowed.

please note: despite the fact that Akamai's services tend to keep them off the radar for most people (even as they serve them content) most of the slashdot community are likely to be familiar with them, their services, etc.. Also, the fact that their co-founder died in a plane crash on 9/11 has very little to do with this argument, as sad as it may be.

Trouble for other players? (2, Interesting)

geek_mystic (1136137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619170)

While I haven't been following the litigation very closely, Limelight's position on it seems interesting. They seem to be denying that they infringed upon the patent, rather than taking the approach that the patent is obvious or that there exists prior art. I'm sure there is a sound legal strategy here, I'm not a lawyer - but my instinct would be to go the other way (maybe that's why I'm not a lawyer, ha!)

It'll also be very interesting to see how the other well-funded CDN players react to this - Level 3 (which is also suing Limelight over patents), EdgeCast (Disney-funded) and Internap (with about the same market cap as Limelight.)

The way I read the patent, they must all be infringing in some way, no?

So they've patented (4, Interesting)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619284)

... automatic redirection to the "nearest" mirror?

Brilliant!
What a novel use of technology.

Surely this is just amazing. Who ever woulda thunk that computers could do things for us automatically?

Re:So they've patented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619364)

You'd have a point if computers wrote the algorithm that did it, or if that algorithm could have been written by a college freshman over spring break.

but they didn't and they couldn't.

It's obvious in the same sense that aspirin is "obviously" a good choice for mild pain. This just in! Chemicals can do things! But we both know aspirin was considerably more complicated than that.

Re:So they've patented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619644)

It's obvious in the same sense that wood is "obviously" a good choice for building houses.
fixed that for you.

Re:So they've patented (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22619598)

No, they haven't even done that much.

All they have patented is that you serve a webpage, and if there is content on that page you want served up by the CDN you use a URL with a certain domain name part (e.g. cdn.mycompany.com/somefile instead of www.mycompany.com/somefile), thus allowing you to serve the page but the CDN to send the parts you wanted cached.

It's a horrifically obvious patent and it out to be struck down immediately.

In other news... (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619434)

...googling for Akamai generates a 403 and CAPTCHA [google.com] to regain permissions.

Obvious or questionable? (1)

jkro (1103265) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619716)

Is the news about defending an obvious or questionable patent? I bet the later one.

Akamai == Squid (1)

skander (43037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22619782)

Squid, the http caching program, was conceived long before Akamai became a company.

All the services that Akamai propose can be achieved with localized Squid servers. Akamai's only benefit is it's market share, which allows it to provide it's (Squid) services at a lower cost.

These patents have no ground, as the technology was already invented by Squid programmers over a decade ago.

Thank God these US patents are not enforced in the EU.

http://www.squid-cache.org/ [squid-cache.org]

Live Patent Free! Contact your Govt representatives to abolish Patent Laws!

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