March 18, 2014
On January 22, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Medtronic, Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corp. The question in this case was whether, when a declaratory judgment of non-infringement is sought by a patent licensee under the Court’s decision in MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, the burden of proof lies with the licensee to prove non-infringement or, as is traditional in patent litigation suits, with the patent owner, to prove infringement.
Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of a unanimous Court, which held that when a licensee seeks a declaratory judgment against a patentee to establish that there is no infringement, the burden of proving infringement remains with the patentee. The Federal Circuit’s ruling to the contrary was reversed and the case remanded.
To discuss the case, we have Professor Gregory Dolin, Co-director, Center for Medicine and Law, University of Baltimore School of Law.