Defendants, in patent infringement litigation, also have different legal thresholds for success depending on whether the case is decided on the basis of the Literal Infringement
Doctrine or the Doctrine of Equivalents (Kasdan, 2013).
Under this doctrine, "a product or process that does not literally infringe upon the express terms of a patent claim may nonetheless be found to infringe if there is 'equivalence' between the elements of the accused product or process and the claimed elements of the patented invention." (109) In other words, in situations in which patent holders cannot prove literal infringement
because the literal language of the claim does not cover the accused product, they can still prove infringement under the doctrine of equivalents by showing that the accused product is an equivalent of the claimed invention.
(146) After determining literal infringement
under [section] 112 [paragraph] 6, the next step would be the infringement analysis under the doctrine of equivalents extending the functional claim element to its equivalents.
(62) Arguably, this element paralleled the separate "auxiliary valve" of Westinghouse's brake, thus rendering Boyden's brake a literal infringement
of Westinghouse's patent.
but disagree over possible claim interpretations, the question of literal infringement
collapses into claim construction ...."); Athletic Alts., Inc.
infringement here may be either a literal infringement
Additionally, courts may find either literal infringement
or infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, which further complicates the infringement analysis.
alternative to a theory of literal infringement
. Before the Supreme
(16) Further, it held that [section] 112, paragraph 6, deals only with literal infringement
, and that if [section] 112, paragraph 6, equivalence is not found in an accused device, one must proceed to consider whether equivalence is present under the doctrine of equivalents.
happens when it is possible to read the words of the claims into the accused product or process.
The purpose of the doctrine of equivalents is to prevent someone from making insubstantial variations to a patented invention in order to avoid literal infringement
In January of this year, Osteotech filed a motion for summary judgment of literal infringement
of claims 4 and 10 of Osteotech's United States Patent 5,290,558, or the '558 Patent , which the District Court granted in April 2001.