Infringement Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Infringement, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Infringement?

It refers to breach of contract, agreement, law and violation of patent and copyright rules. It also means illegal trespassing.This term is normally used in cases of patents and copyrights where intentionally or unintentionally someone have deemed invented or copied something which had already been patented or copyright respectively.

History and Meaning of Infringement

The term "infringement" has been used in legal contexts for centuries to describe a breach of law, contract or agreement. Specifically, in the world of intellectual property, infringement refers to the unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted, patented or trademarked materials. Infringement can be a deliberate act or unintentional, but regardless of intent, it can result in significant legal and financial consequences for the offending party.

Infringement can occur in a variety of contexts, from using copyrighted music in a YouTube video, to manufacturing and selling a product that infringes on another company's patent. In addition to being a legal issue, infringement can also have ethical implications, as it involves capitalizing on someone else's creation without their permission or compensation.

Examples of Infringement

  1. A clothing company uses a celebrity's image on their t-shirts without obtaining the necessary licensing or permission, infringing on the celebrity's right of publicity.
  2. A software developer creates a program that is suspiciously similar to a competitor's patented software, infringing on the competitor's patent rights.
  3. A photographer's copyrighted photo is used without their consent by a company for advertising purposes, resulting in an infringement of the photographer's copyright.

Legal Terms Similar to Infringement

  1. Piracy - Infringing on someone's intellectual property rights by reproducing or distributing their material without their permission.
  2. Counterfeiting - Producing and selling fake versions of an original product, infringing on the trademark owner's rights.
  3. Plagiarism - Copying and using someone else's written work without proper attribution or permission, infringing on the original author's intellectual property rights.