SCOTUSblog: Medtronic, Inc. v. Merowski Family Ventures, LLC
Argument: Nov 5 2013 (Aud.)
Background: Medtronic, a leading manufacturer of medical devices and equipment, sued for declaratory judgment of noninfringement and invalidity of several patents owned by Mirowski Family Ventures. The District Court entered judgment of noninfringement in favor of Medtronic and judgment of validity and enforceability in favor of MFV. The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the decision, finding that the court relied on a legally incorrect allocation of the burden of proof to find noninfringement in the limited circumstances of this case and incorrectly construed the claim terms in question.
Issue: The question before the Court is whether, in a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee under MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 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.