Breaking a Patent Law and Legal Definition

Breaking a patent refers to the act of demonstrating or explaining that a patent is invalid or unenforceable because of its unlawful usage by the patentee or improper issuance by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office due to fraud, the existence of prior art, or any other barrier to proper issuance. A patentee is said to break a patent when he acts in violation of antitrust laws. Defendants involved in patent-infringement actions shall overcome the infringement allegations if they show that the patent should not have been allowed in the first place or that the patentee has misused the patent.