Elements Law and Legal Definition

Element is a constituent part of a claim that must be proved for the claim to succeed. For example, elements of a crime are the constituent parts of a crime which usually consists of the actus reus, mens rea, and causation. To convict an accused each element of a crime must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

In the context of patents, element is a discretely claimed component of a patent claim. To recover for patent infringement, the plaintiff must prove that the accused product infringes every element of at least one claim, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.