Diligence Law and Legal Definition

Diligence means earnest and persistent application to accomplish something. It also refers to the degree of care from a person required in a given situation.

In the context of patents, diligence means the speed and perseverance in perfecting an invention. It is one factor to be considered while deciding which of two or more independent inventors will be granted a patent. If the first inventor cannot prove reasonable diligence in reducing the invention to practice, a later inventor may take priority.

In Scots law, diligence is a court-issued warrant to compel something, such as the attendance of a witness or the enforcement of an unpaid judgment debt.

There are different types of diligence . For example:

Necessary diligence refers to the diligence that a person is required to exercise to be legally protected.

Extraordinary diligence is the extreme care that a person of unusual prudence exercises to secure rights or property.

Great diligence or high diligence is the diligence that a very prudent person exercises in handling his/her own property like that at issue.

Ordinary diligence or common diligence is the diligence that a person of average prudence would exercise in handling his/her own property like that at issue.

Slight or low diligence is the diligence that a person of less than common prudence takes with his/her own concerns.

Special diligence is the diligence expected from a person practicing in a particular field of specialty under circumstances like those at issue.