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A patent case involving the storage and recall of webpage information before the US Supreme Court is worrying some biotech firms, ScienceInsider reports.

The case, Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., hinges on a patent held by Akamai for its process of storing webpage content on its servers and retrieving it to be loaded on to the page. Limelight has a similar service, ScienceInsider says, except it didn't perform every step of the process itself; users tag the information to be stored on the servers.

After Akamai sued Limelight for infringement, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said that Limelight wasn't liable for direct infringement, though it was liable for inducing infringement.

This, ScienceInsider's Kelly Servick says, concerns some biotech companies as their patents often include complicated, multi-step methods. By outsourcing part of the process, competitors could potentially avoid lawsuits.

"It invites circumvention. It invites gaming," says Hans Sauer, the deputy general counsel for intellectual property at the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

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