U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, Northern District of California
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, Northern District of California (Jason Doiy)

A federal judge in San Jose is considering whether to stay a patent case brought by Israeli tech firm Emblaze Ltd. against Apple Inc. until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Akamai Technologies v. Limelight Networks.

In Akamai, the Federal Circuit held a party could be liable for induced infringement even if its customers performed the final step of the claimed method. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on Jan. 10, and the case is set for argument April 30.

Apple, represented by Greenberg Traurig, argues the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision could eviscerate the legal theory underpinning claims in Emblaze v. Apple, 11-1079.

“Regardless of whether the Supreme Court reverses Akamai in its entirety or changes the standard for induced infringement, the substantial time, effort and money invested in this case by the parties, the Court and the jury will have been entirely wasted,” the Cupertino-based company wrote in a Jan. 23 brief.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal considered the motion Tuesday but has not ruled. A trial is set for June 30.

Staying the case does not prejudice Emblaze, Apple’s lawyers contend, because it too would incur needless expense if the Supreme Court changes the standard for induced infringement or reverses Akamai outright.

Emblaze accuses Apple of infringing its patent when certain live streaming apps are used on its devices. The theory, Apple points out, is not based on Apple practicing all claims but on “the combined actions of multiple parties,” including the broadcaster, the carrier, Apple and others.

In its response brief opposing a stay, Emblaze argues that Apple hasn’t established a clear case of hardship or inequity and says a potential Supreme Court reversal in Akamai would have “little to no impact on the instant proceedings.”

Emblaze, represented by San Francisco-based Davis Wright Tremane and Cozen O’Connor in New York, said, “The Federal Circuit in Akamai left unchanged the law of infringement with respect to apparatus claims,” noting that of the 22 claims of the patent-in-suit asserted against Apple, 10 are apparatus claims.

“Delaying these proceedings will serve only to perpetuate Apple’s infringement of the patent-in-suit, entirely to the detriment of Emblaze,” its lawyers wrote.