Claim Vitiation Limitation to the Doctrine of Equivalents May Be Diminishing

June 25, 2013

6/25/2013 - Claim Vitiation Limitation to the Doctrine of Equivalents May Be Diminishing -- The Fed. Circuit recently interpreted claim vitiation to be “an acknowledgement that each element in the claim must be present in the accused device either literally or equivalently.” It is unclear whether claim vitiation is still a separate standard that can be applied as a defense to the doctrine of equivalents. Claim vitiation remains a question of law for a court to decide (i.e., that “no reasonable jury could determine two elements to be equivalents"), whereas the doctrine of equivalents remains a question of fact for a jury to decide. The Intellectual Property Strategist, Vol. 19, No. 8, May 2013

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