Under the holding of Warner-Jenkinson Co. v. Hilton-Davis Chemical Co., a court will not limit an inventor to the sole remedy of literal infringement. The inventor may also rely on the "doctrine of equivalents," which permits finding of infringement if there is equivalence between the elements of the accused product and the claimed elements of the patented invention. With this backdrop, Mr. Kryger analyzes the courts' struggle in developing a bright-line rule to protect patentees from piracy and fraud on their patents. Mr. Kryger first chronicles the evolution of the doctrine of equivalents through caselaw, particularly Graver Tank v. Linde Air Products Co. and discusses the criticisms raised over the Doctrine's application in Hilton Davis, emphasizing the Court's inability to resolve the conflict the doctrine has with the "distinct claim" provision of section 112 of the Patent Act. Mr. Kryger notes the courts' general conflict with the use of contract principles in limiting the availability of the doctrine, and identifies areas where fundamental principles of contract arguably have survived. Finally, Mr. Kryger analyses the Federal Circuit's subsequent development of the principles established by the Hilton Davis Court.
William T. Kryger,
The Doctrine of Equivalents into the year 2000: The Line is Becoming Brighter for Some but Remains Dim for Others,
3 Marq. Intellectual Property L. Rev. 203
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/iplr/vol3/iss1/7