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January 22, 2014

Unchanging Burden

In the continuing campaign to abridge the rights of non-corporate patent holders, the august priests of the plutocracy proclaim through nuance that only pittances are due patent peasants. In Medtronic v. Mirowski, the Supreme Court unanimously rules that patent holders must always prove their patents worthy.

Medtronic v. Mirowski Family Ventures (SCOTUS 12-1128) Justice J. Breyer, author

The public interest, of course, favors the maintenance of a well-functioning patent system. But the "public" also has a "paramount interest in seeing that patent monopolies . . . are kept within their legitimate scope." Precision Instrument Mfg. Co. v. Automotive Maintenance Machinery Co., 324 U. S. 806, 816 (1945). A patentee "should not be . . . allowed to exact royalties for the use of an idea. . . that is beyond the scope of the patent monopoly granted." Blonder-Tongue Laboratories, Inc. v. University of Ill. Foundation, 402 U. S. 313, 349-350 (1971). And "[l]icensees may often be the only individuals with enough economic incentive" to litigate questions of a patent's scope. Lear, Inc. v. Adkins, 395 U. S. 653, 670 (1969). The general public interest considerations are, at most, in balance. They do not favor a change in the ordinary rule imposing the burden of proving infringement upon the patentee.

Reading between the lines, the point is clear that commercial interests trump the grant of patent. The burden always lies upon the patent holder to prove a patent infringed and of value.

For the umpteenth time, the often-inept CAFC is reversed.

Posted by Patent Hawk at January 22, 2014 6:10 PM | Infringement