Copycats Get Neutered
Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling Could Alleviate Some Inventor Worries
Patent holders now have ability to use a legal theory called the "doctrine of equivalents" to defend their patents against would-be imitators. Essentially it allows rights beyond an original infringement claim if the alleged copycat product performs a similar function.
The example given in the New York Times article is if a patent owner had rights to a product that contained a copper wire, another company would not be allowed to market a product with an aluminum wire that performed the same function.
Get the full scoop on the NY Times webpage.