DJ Action Dismissed - 1st Post MedImmune

In what appears to to be the first dismissal of a declaratory judgment action post the Supreme Court’s decision in MedImmune, a court in Minneapolis dismissed two counts seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity (Case 08–cv-00816).

According to the ruling:

“However, although MedImmune lowers the bar for declaratory judgment jurisdiction, a substantial controversy is still required. In the post-MedImmune authorities relied on by[Plaintiff], a patentee has either demonstrated a preparedness to litigate against the prospective declaratory judgment plaintiff, accused the prospective declaratory judgment plaintiff of infringement, affirmatively asserted its rights to license fees, or engaged in some combination of all three. For example, in Micron Technology, Inc. v. MOSAID Technologies, Inc., 518 F.3d 897 (Fed. Cir. 2008), ...

Under these circumstances, the Federal Circuit found that the record demonstrated a “substantial controversy” between the parties under the MedImmune standard.” (Emphasis added).

The instant case is distinguishable because [Defendant] has not demonstrated an intent to litigate against [Plaintiff], has not accused [Plaintiff] of infringement, and has not demanded licensing fees. There is no evidence that [Defendant] has pursued litigation against [Plaintiff].

Considering all the circumstances, the Court finds there is no substantial controversy regarding the … Patent supporting declaratory judgment jurisdiction. Specifically, [Defendant] has not yet established any position on whether [Plaintiff] infringes the ‘356 Patent. [Defendant]’s letter to Plaintiff was a means of gathering information regarding potential infringement, not an assertion of an already determined legal interest adverse to [Plaintiff]. Therefore, because the parties have not established positions of adverse legal interests, there is no substantial controversy regarding the ‘356 patent. Accordingly, this Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over Counts II and III of [Plaintiff]’s Complaint.

A copy of the decision in PDF format can be found by clicking the link (Dismissal Order (26 KB)).



I wonder how possible it will be to enforce patents in the future, as legal and cost barriers to importing drugs to the US from India and China fall.

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