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MedImmune v. Genentech

This case in the U.S. Supreme Court involved the following question: Does Article Ill’s grant of jurisdiction of “all Cases . . . Arising under . . . The Laws of the United States,” implemented in the “actual controversy” requirement of the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2201(a), require a patent licensee to refuse to pay royalties and commit material breach of the license agreement before suing to declare the patent invalid, unenforceable or not infringed? Because the argument that a patent infringer had to expose itself to liability before suing to set aside a patent would have grave implications in other areas of the law, especially environmental cases, where courts have generally held that a person need not wait to be injured before suing, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council arguing that there was a ripe controversy in this case. On January 9, 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the position argued in our brief.