Justices May Raise Bar For Licensees Challenging Patents

By Ryan Davis (November 4, 2013, 8:33 PM EST) -- If the U.S. Supreme Court decides in a case set for argument Tuesday that companies bear the burden of proof when they sue to invalidate patents they have licensed, the added difficulty could discourage such suits and leave potentially overbroad patents unchallenged.

The high court is considering Medtronic Inc.'s appeal of a Federal Circuit decision that when the terms of a license prevent the patent owner from alleging infringement, licensees that challenge the patents in a declaratory judgment suit have the onus of proving that they do not infringe or that the patents are invalid.

In all other types of patent...

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