If there were a patent US1111111, which read:

US1111111: A "thing" for doing something.

The invention claimed is:

  1. A "thing".
  2. A "thing" of claim 1, which uses a "thing 2".

Say my invention was also a "thing" that instead uses a "thing 3", would my "thing" infringe on patent US1111111? I am still unsure as to how strict patent claims are.

1 Answer 1


I am still unsure as to how strict patent claims are.

If an accused product falls within the literal meaning of at least one of the patent's claims, then the patent is "literally" infringed.

There is also infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. A product that falls outside the literal meaning of the claims may still be considered infringing if it contains an "equivalent" for each claim limitation not literally present.

So the answer to your question is "yes", since at least one claim is infringed. It doesn't matter how many other claims you don't infringe.

  • So if someone lists a 'base' claim as, for example, "a window opening system comprising a handle," does that mean no one else can make a window opening system with a handle without infringing the patent? Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 10:18
  • @HarrySmith That's exactly right. Note however that we are discussing only what constitutes infringement of a claim, and not claim validity.
    – Atsby
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 1:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .