LaFrance on Placing the Burden of Proof Where it Belongs in a Patent Licensee's Action for Declaratory Judgment of Non-Infringement: Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 788 (Jan. 22, 2014) (PDF)

Patentees will have to evaluate the strength of their infringement claims more carefully, or it could be costly.
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The patentee bears the burden of proving infringement. In Medtronic, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the patentee also bears this burden when it is the defendant in an action for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement, even if the plaintiff is a licensee in good standing. As a result of this decision, patentees will have to evaluate the strength of their infringement claims more carefully, or it could be costly.


Mary LaFrance is the IGT Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Prior to joining the Boyd School of Law, Professor LaFrance served on the faculty of the Florida State University College of Law and the Florida State University School of Motion Pictures, Television, and Recording Arts. She is the author of numerous books and law review articles on domestic and international intellectual property law, as well as the taxation of intellectual property. Her books include Intellectual Property Cases and Materials (West 3d ed. 2007) (with David Lange and Gary Myers), Understanding Trademark Law (Matthew Bender 2d ed. 2009), Copyright Law in a Nutshell (West 2008), Global Issues in Copyright Law (West 2009), and Understanding Intellectual Property Law (Mathew Bender 2011) (with Donald Chisum, Tyler Ochoa, and Shubha Ghosh).


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