Creative Compunds, LLC . Starmark Labs., No. 10-1445 (Fed. Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff and defendant had co-pending patents relating to innovations in dietary supplements, particularly formulations that increase the bioavailability of creatine, an amino acid derivative naturally present in muscle tissue. Plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the defendant's patent was invalid and not infringed; defendant responded alleging infringement and seeking declaratory judgment that plaintiff's patent was invalid. The district court ruled in favor of defendant. The Federal Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. Defendant's patent is not invalid and is infringed, but the court lacked jurisdiction with respect to plaintiff's patent. The court applied the correct standard under 35 U.S.C. 282: each claim of patent is presumed valid, an accused infringer must prove invalidity by clear and convincing evidence. The plaintiff did not establish prior invention or disclosure in prior art. Plaintiff offered no argument as to why or how the process it employed did not infringe defendant's patent. Plaintiff never accused defendant of infringement; defendant has, at most, an economic interest in clarifying its customers' rights under plaintiff's patents. Absent a substantial controversy between the parties, the court lacked declaratory judgment jurisdiction.