This website illustrates how Civil Engineers may make greater use of the Global Patent System to Promote Progress in their Field.
The American Founders included Patent Rights in the United States Constitution to Promote Progress.
Declaratory Judgment
U.S. Patenting
     A Civil Engineering enterprise concerned about being sued for patent infringement may file a Declaratory Action suit in U.S. District Court to request that a court determine that their activity does not infringe a certain patent.  Successfully filing a Declaratory Judgment action gives the would-be accused infringer the advantage of their chosen venue for the case and the benefit of seizing the initiative from the patent owner.  A recent U.S. Supreme Court case reduced the threshold requirements for standing for Declaratory Judgment in patent cases, making it easier for potentially targeted infringers to successfully file Declaratory Judgment suits.    

In response to a greater apparent threat of losing initiative by being pulled into a Declaratory Judgment case in a relatively less patent-friendly U.S. District Court, many patent owners apparently changed their modus operandi for targeting infringers.  Because previous patent owner actions such as sending cease-and-desist letters now apparently can trigger Declaratory Judgment actions, patent owners often shoot first and ask questions later by first filing a patent infringement case to secure their desired venue and then later initiating settlement negotiations with the targeted infringer.  As an aside, some U.S. District Courts favored by patent owners, and sometimes avoided by would-be infringers by filing Declaratory Judgment actions, include the notoriously patentee-friendly Eastern District of Texas, the District of Delaware, and the Northern District of California.
Tappan Zee Bridge in New York
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