in·​fringe·​ment | \in-ˈfrinj-mənt \

Definition of infringement 

1 : the act of infringing : violation

2 : an encroachment or trespass on a right or privilege

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Examples of infringement in a Sentence

any government action limiting freedom of speech is an infringement of the U.S. Constitution

Recent Examples on the Web

In January, Micron was hit with a patent infringement suit by Jinhua and UMC over several types of memory. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Inside a Heist of American Chip Designs, as China Bids for Tech Power," 22 June 2018 The company tried to pry away customers who ran their corporate networks on open-source operating system Linux with tactics ranging from price cuts to fear-mongering over the notion that the software could be vulnerable to patent-infringement suits. Eric Newcomer,, "Microsoft’s GitHub Deal Triggers Coders’ Trust Issues," 4 June 2018 Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins sued Yugdharini LLC and its five partners for trademark and trade dress infringement, and unfair and deceptive trade practices, among other allegations. Joe Marusak And Hannah Lang, charlotteobserver, "Dunkin' Donuts is so upset with these Charlotte stores, it's suing to close them," 11 June 2018 Even minor infringements, such as perusing smuggled religious pamphlets, can result in severe punishment. The Economist, "What life is like for ordinary North Koreans," 26 May 2018 The copyright infringement that Epic Games is claiming is twofold. Sarah Jeong, The Verge, "The curious case of the Fortnite cheater," 9 May 2018 The executive expects to win cases, known as infringements, to block new Hungarian laws aimed at curbing funding from abroad, notably by Hungarian-American financier George Soros, of a university and of liberal non-government organizations. Alastair Macdonald, The Christian Science Monitor, "European leaders work to keep conservative East in EU," 27 Apr. 2018 In its suit filed this week in federal court in San Diego, Stone Brewing, based in nearby Escondido, Calif., alleges trademark infringement that occurred when MillerCoors rebranded its Keystone Light beer. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "A legal brew-ha-ha: Stone Brewing sues MillerCoors over Keystone packaging," 12 Feb. 2018 Bandlow says the company isn't interested in revealing John Doe names or making money from the lawsuits, just in reducing copyright infringement. Adiel Kaplan, miamiherald, "The Steven Spielberg of porn sues to make Floridians stop pirating his raunchy videos," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infringement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of infringement

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

29 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for infringement

The first known use of infringement was in 1628

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Legal Definition of infringement 

: the act or an instance of infringing especially : the unauthorized use of copyrighted or patented material or of a trademark, trade name, or trade dress — see also equivalent, fair use

Note: Infringement of a trademark, trade name, or trade dress involves use of one by the infringer that is the same as that of the owner or so similar that it is likely to deceive or to cause confusion or mistake on the part of the average purchaser. Infringement of a copyright involves the copying of a material and substantial portion of the protected work. If the alleged infringer denies copying, the copyright holder may be able to prove infringement with circumstantial evidence of the infringer's access to the protected work and of similarities between the two works.

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playful or foolish behavior

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