Mark R. Hull


This Note examines the interplay between the judicially-created patent law rules of prosecution history estoppel and the doctrine of equivalents. Part II explores the development of these rules as well as their effects and underlying goals. Part II also discusses landmark Supreme Court decisions regarding the doctrine of equivalents and prosecution history estoppel and how the Federal Circuit has applied these rules. Part III discusses the United States Supreme Court decision in Festo Corporation v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co.

Finally, Part IV analyzes the Festo decision, explains that the decision will likely increase the cost and complexity of patent prosecution and litigation, and offers an alternate approach.