Doctrine of Equivalents

A doctrine which says that if a patent claim does not literally read on a possibly infringing devie, it can be read more broadly providing it does not read on the prior art. It is designed to allow the inventor to assert a patent where the differnces between the inventor’s and an infringer’s product re not subsantial. (See Hilton Davis Chemical Company v. Warner-Jenkinson Company, Inc. 93-1088). A Universal Term.

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