On May 20, 2013, the United States Supreme Court granted cert. in Medtronic v. Boston Scientific, a case that will answer whether the licensee in a declaratory judgment challenge bears the burden of proving that the alleged non-infringing product does not infringe, or whether the responding patentee must prove infringement. To read the Federal Circuit decision in the case, click here.
The Supreme Court explained the question presented as follows:
In Medlmmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 137 (2007), this Court ruled that a patent licensee that believes that its products do not infringe the patent and accordingly are not subject to royalty payments is “not required … to break or terminate its … license agreement before seeking a declaratory judgment in federal court that the underlying patent is … not infringed.”
The question presented is whether, in such a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee under MedImmune, the licensee has the burden to prove that its products do not infringe the patent, or whether (as is the case in all other patent litigation, including other declaratory judgment actions), the patentee must prove infringement.
Written by Brandon Baum of Baum Legal and Practice Center Contributor.
You often hear that the key to being a patent trial lawyer is the ability to master complex technical concepts and communicate them to lay jurors. To comfortably act as a translator between the hard science of technology and the soft art of human understanding and common sense. The reality, however, is not quite so impressive.
Take, for example, this closing argument from the i4i vs. Microsoft case. What follows is the entirety of i4i’s discussion of infringement in its initial closing argument: