Cable & Wireless Sues Akamai

For the second time in two months, the company accuses Akamai of patent infringement.

Cable & Wireless USA Inc. filed a new lawsuit against Akamai Technologies Inc. Thursday, its second in the last two months against the company.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claims that Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai and its subsidiary, Sockeye Networks Inc., of Waltham, Mass., infringed a Cable & Wireless patent that covers host-to-host adaptive routing protocol (HHARP), the company said.

Cable & Wireless, of Reston, Va., claims its HHARP innovation is a patented, optimal-routing technology that significantly improves the reliability and performance of Internet packet-routing systems by using redundant network paths intelligently. Cable & Wireless is seeking damages and injunctive relief.

The Cable & Wireless patent for HHARP covers technology that that detects Internet congestion proactively and determines the best route between a customers origin servers and the edge of the Internet to quickly deliver all types of text and visual information and images, the company said.

"We believe Akamais EdgeSuite and Sockeyes GlobalRoute products and services infringe on our HHARP patent and we will aggressively protect our intellectual property assets for the benefit of our customers and our stockholders," Chris Albinson, chief strategy officer for Exodus, a Cable & Wireless Service, said in a statement.

Jeff Young, a spokesman for Akamai, said: "We are aware of the complaint and we believe the claims are totally without merit. We are confident Akamai does not infringe [on this patent]. We believe that Cable & Wireless is acting to divert attention from the permanent injunction expected to be issued against them this summer."

Young said a jury found Cable & Wireless guilty of infringing on an Akamai patent with Cable & Wireless Footprint product. "They were found guilty and final wording on an injunction is expected this summer," Young said.

Internet packet routing is subject to many kinds of problems, such as hardware and line failures, configuration errors, incorrect or sub-optimal routing policies and congestion at busy intersections, Cable & Wireless officials said. To remedy the situation, Cable & Wireless HHARP routing systems can work in conjunction with standard TCP/IP routing protocols to instantly detect and avoid routing paths with these performance problems without changes to senders and receivers, the company said.

Last month, Cable & Wireless, in a separate lawsuit, charged Akamai with violating another patent that covers various content-delivery algorithms and systems. The suit charges that Akamais content delivery network (CDN) products, including EdgeSuite and the Akamaizer tool used to prepare content so it can be accessed at the CDN, infringe on Cable & Wireless new patent, which the company says covers ways to ensure that only the freshest information is served to Web sites and ways to optimize content storage by avoiding duplication of information in a CDN.

Akamai denied that charge as well.