576. Proceedings for declaration of non-infringement.

Without prejudice to any other jurisdiction to make a declaration1, the court2 has power, in proceedings between any person and the proprietor of, or an exclusive licensee under3, a patent, to make a declaration that an act does not or a proposed act would not constitute an infringement of the patent4, and may do so notwithstanding that no assertion to the contrary has been made by the proprietor or licensee5, if it is shown that:


    (1)     that person has applied in writing to the proprietor of the patent or licensee for a written acknowledgment to the effect of the