Colorable Alteration [Intellectual Property] Law and Legal Definition

Colorable alteration refers to a small modification or a change made to an invention. However, such alteration is made only to distinguish an invention or work from an existing patent or copyright.

In Lektophone Corp. v. Rola Co., 34 F.2d 764, 771 (9th Cir. Cal. 1929), a patent holder's patents were of sound-reproducing instruments for phonographs. According to the patent application, size and dimensions of the invention were the essence of the patent. The patent holder claimed that a radio loud speaker manufactured by the defendant (manufacturer) infringed the patents. The manufacturer's devise also had a central paper cone, but the cone was smaller than that of the patented devise and that constituted colorable alteration. The court held that because colorable alterations of the manufacturer's devise, it would not accomplish the object specified in the patent claims and hence did not infringe upon the patent holder's claims.