By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared unsure how to proceed in a dispute over whether Limelight Networks Inc infringed upon patented technology for managing Web images and video held by Akamai Technologies Inc. The nine justices are weighing whether a company can be held liable for inducing patent infringement when the final step that leads to infringement is carried out by a third party. The justices are reviewing an August 2012 ruling by a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Akamai’s favor, which effectively made it easier to prove that a company is liable based on the induced infringement theory. But as several justices noted on Wednesday, the appeals court did not decide the question of whether direct infringement had occurred before ruling that there was induced infringement. Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Elena Kagan both raised concerns that a Supreme Court ruling on the induced infringement question would be rendered largely meaningless unless the direct infringement issue was resolved.