Aggressive Patent Enforcement May Be Sufficient to File Declaratory Relief Action

Where a patentee sent letters suggesting that the alleged infringer should license its patents, and during the next four years sued a number of the alleged infringer’s competitors, issuing press releases and statements in its annual report that it was aggressively pursuing its patent enforcement strategy, the Federal Circuit held that the alleged infringer had grounds to file a declaratory relief action against the patentee. This represents yet another expansion of the ability of an alleged infringer to sue a patentee to obtain a favorable venue for a patent lawsuit. Given that more patentees are rushing to file in the plaintiff friendly Eastern District of Texas, this case gives an alleged infringer one more reason to be able to file first and avoid an unfavorable venue. Micron Tech., Inc. v. Mosaid Techs., Inc., 518 F.3d 897 (Fed. Cir. 2008).