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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.
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)