By Dennis Crouch
Medtronic v. Boston Scientific (Fed. Cir. 2014)
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued a decision in this case – holding that the patentee has the burden of persuasion on the issue of infringement – even in cases that arise as a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee in good standing against the patentee. The original Federal Circuit panel opinion had shifted the burden in this situation to the DJ plaintiff alleging non-infringement.
On remand, the Federal Circuit panel has modified its opinion – holding that the district court had properly sided with the DJ plaintiff in finding non-infringement.
The basic issue here was that neither party provided evidence sufficient to either prove or disprove infringement of the Boston Scientific patents. In that situation, the party with the burden of persuasion loses. We know from the Supreme Court decision that the patentee always has the burden of persuasion on infringement and therefore that Boston Scientific loses.
Note: Updated on 3/12 to correct parties.