Friday, March 13, 2009

Invitation to Discuss Patent Does Not Create a Substantial Controversy Supporting Declaratory Relief Claim Even When Sent by a "Non-Competitor Patent"

The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction where the only communications between the parties were a letter from defendant inviting discussions concerning the patent-in-suit and follow-up letters addressing a possible standstill agreement that would be effective during such discussions. "The court appreciates that the receipt of such correspondence from a non-competitor patent holding company (or a patent troll) may invoke a different reaction than would a meet-and-discuss inquiry by a competitor, presumably with intellectual property of its own to place on the bargaining table. . . [However] in the case at bar, the plaintiff 'jumped the gun' under the circumstances as they existed prior to [the filing date]."

Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Acceleron LLC, 1-07-cv-00650 (DED March 11, 2009, Memorandum Opinion)

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