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The encroachment, breach, or violation of a right, law, regulation, or contract.

The term is most frequently used in reference to the invasion of rights secured by Copyright, patent, or trademark. The unauthorized manufacture, sale, or distribution of an item protected by a copyright, patent, or trademark constitutes an infringement.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) a trespassing or illegal entering. 2) in the law of patents (protected inventions), and copyrights (protected writings or graphics), the improper use of a patent, writing, graphic or trademark without permission, without notice, and especially without contracting for payment of a royalty. Even though the infringement may be accidental (an inventor thinks he is the first to develop the widget although someone else has a patent), the party infringing is responsible to pay the original patent or copyright owner substantial damages, which can be the normal royalty or as much as the infringers' accumulated gross profits. (See: patent infringement, patent, copyright, trademark, plagiarism, royalty)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Generally speaking, courts in patent infringement actions generally look to all the relevant circumstances to determine whether a party, upon actual notice of a patent, took adequate steps so as not to recklessly disregard the rights of the patent holder.
Supreme Court and changes to federal law have relaxed the requirement of obtaining a legal opinion of non-infringement to avoid a finding of willful infringement.
That being said, it is still good practice in most circumstances to seek the opinion of patent counsel if a potentially viable claim of patent infringement is received.
Indeed, many courts have found willful infringement even when a business had relied upon an opinion of non-infringement given by its in-house engineers or by attorneys not skilled in patent infringement law.
On the other hand, if a business had received competent legal advice from patent counsel that it was not infringing the patent, it likely has a legitimate defense against a claim of willful infringement even if a judge or jury determines that the business had indeed been infringing the patent.
In sum, it is critical that businesses accused of patent infringement take the charge seriously and obtain the opinion of competent legal counsel as to whether they are infringing the patent at issue.
In addition to the Federal Court of Australia, Motorola Solutions' patent infringement, copyright infringement and trade secret theft lawsuits against Hytera are still pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
I argue that some of the patent infringement doctrines that allow for
Like the bounded scope of patent protection, infringement liability
Infringement determinations naturally focus on the acts or products of
determine what competing product features constitute infringement. (13)
The basic inquiry in an infringement determination requires analysis of