Rule against Vitiation of a Claim Element [Patent] Law and Legal Definition

Rule against vitiation of a claim element is a principle of patent law that under the doctrine of equivalents, there can be no patent infringement if even one element of a claim or its equivalent is not present in the accused device. This rule limits the doctrine of equivalents and prevents the doctrine's application to an entire claim, rather than the claim's constituent elements. This is also known as all-limitations rule or all elements rule.