by Mike Masnick
Tue, Mar 4th 2008 1:57pm
Last summer we noted that the Content Distribution Network (CDN) space was getting crowded with competitors, which was seriously cutting into the profits of Akamai, who is considered the leader in the space. So what's a company like Akamai to do? Well, they could spend money on continuing to innovate, offering a better product and providing reasons why customers would want to buy services from them... or they could just sue their competitors for patent infringement. It looks like Akamai is going with door number 2. Not surprisingly, since juries quite often side with patent holders, a jury has ruled in favor of Akamai in a patent infringement lawsuit over a patent that some are noting appears to be rather obvious in that it describes a process for hosting online content via distributed servers. While it's not clear how obvious this patent really may be, what does seem clear from multiple comments on Slashdot is that there appears to be a fair amount of prior art, including an earlier patent that appears to cover similar territory. Either way, it appears that many different companies and individuals have been trying to tackle this problem in similar ways, and that there's marketplace demand for products in the space. So why should one company be given a monopoly over the entire space?
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