Declaratory Judgment Act: Must Suppliers Bet The Farm?

Law360, New York (October 3, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT) -- The Supreme Court's decision in MedImmune v. Genentech allows courts to exercise subject matter jurisdiction under the Declaratory Judgment Act where the parties are embroiled in a substantial controversy of "sufficient immediacy and reality."[1] The court in MedImmune established that a declaratory judgment plaintiff need not "bet the farm" or "risk treble damages" before being able to seek a declaration that its acts do not violate another's rights.[2] Nonetheless, a line of Federal Circuit cases (before and after MedImmune) indicate a trend toward requiring declaratory judgment plaintiffs to do exactly that — "bet the farm" by risking substantial investments in the manufacture or sale of a potentially accused product....

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