HP v. Acceleron: Staring up the Patent Infringement Gun Barrel Without Risking Your Company’s Life

05/04/2010

Recently, in Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Acceleron LLC (“Acceleron”), the Federal Circuit made it easier for companies facing infringement suits to establish declaratory judgment (“DJ”) jurisdiction against non-practicing entities (“NPEs”). In Acceleron, the Federal Circuit found that DJ jurisdiction was triggered when NPE Acceleron wrote to HP to “call . . . attention” to Acceleron’s patent and to invite HP to discuss “the merits of this patent or its relevance to [HP’s] Blade Server products.”  While Acceleron is most significant for NPEs and the companies they target, the case also has implications for practicing patent holders and the accused infringers they target.

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