doctrine of equivalents
A form of patent infringement that occurs when an invention performs substantially the same function in substantially the same manner and obtains the same result as a patented invention. As a result of a Supreme Court decision, the doctrine of equivalents must be applied on an element-by-element basis to the patent claims. (See also: patent claims)
Category: Patent, Copyright & Trademark → Patent Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

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