Patent Infringement and Declaratory Judgment: U.S. Supreme Court Holds That a Patentee Has the Burden of Proving Infringement in a Declaratory Judgment Action Brought by a Licensee

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - January 24, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its first in a series of important patent decisions this Term. In Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC, No. 12-1128 (January 22, 2014), the Court unanimously reversed the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and held that when a licensee seeks a declaratory judgment of non-infringement, the burden of proof as to infringement remains with the patentee. Medtronic is the latest indication of the Court’s willingness to exercise active oversight of decisions of the Federal Circuit.