January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Akamai, Digital Island Face Off

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Leading Internet content delivery provider Akamai Technologies, Inc. and rival Digital Island, Inc. are squaring off over patent infringement allegations. San Francisco-based Digital Island today said it would file an Interference Action with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office against Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Digital Island also filed a complaint today in U.S. District Court for the District of California alleging patent infringement by Akamai. The controversy surfaced publicly last week when Akamai filed suit against Digital Island Sept. 13 in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, seeking unspecified damages and relief. The Akamai suit charges that Digital Islandâs competing Footprint content delivery service, launched after the introduction of Akamaiâs own FreeFlow content delivery service, infringes on proprietary aspects of the Akamai product. Digital Island today released a statement denying that its product infringes on the patent in dispute, which is held by MIT and licensed exclusively to Akamai. "Digital Island has patent pending claims for the same inventions claimed by MIT and believes its own claims have priority over the MIT claim as its patent claims predate MITâs," the company said in its statement. .Akamai currently has the larger network for content, streaming media and applications delivery with servers in 50 countries; rival Digital Island is in 26 countries.

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