Equivalents Doctrine

Definition of Equivalents Doctrine

In patent law, doctrine of “equivalents” means that if two devices do the same work in substantially the same way and accomplish substantially the same result, they are the same, even though they differ in name, form or shape. Fife Mfg. Co. v. Stanford Engineering Co., D.C.I11., 193 F.Supp. 226, 232. Principle of law evolved to protect patentee from devices which differ merely in name, form or shape and thereby to prevent an unauthorized person from reaping benefits of another’s inventive genius. Fraser v. Continental Realty Corp., D.C.W. Va., 356 F.Supp. 704, 705. Patentee may invoke doctrine of “equivalency” to proceed against producer of device, if it performs substantially same function in substantially the same way to obtain the same result. Ceramic Tilers Supply, Inc. v. Tile Council of America, Inc., C.A.Cal., 378 F.2d 283, 286.

That's the definition of Equivalents Doctrine in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of Cekhukum.com.