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

And therefore, the operation of Megaupload couldn't be criminal copyright infringement. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "NZ court rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to US on copyright charges," 5 July 2018 Far from merely turning a blind eye to rampant file sharing on the platform, US authorities say, Dotcom and his staff knowingly and deliberately promoted the use of the platform for copyright infringement. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "NZ court rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to US on copyright charges," 5 July 2018 Samsung ordered to pay Apple $539M for patent infringement. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: North Korea remains open to talks with U.S.; Lawmakers trade barbs over 'Spygate'," 25 May 2018 Amazingly, though Wells and McDonough played full tracks instead of samples on their podcast, no one came after them for copyright infringement. Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Media / Music Remember when you had to explain what a podcast was?," 11 May 2018 The companies also faced off in a separate 2014 trial in the same court over different patent-infringement claims. Bloomberg,, "Apple and Samsung settle their smartphone-design patent fight after seven years," 27 June 2018 The judges not only dismissed the monkey’s infringement claim but ordered PETA to pay costs and attorneys fees to Mr. Slater and his publishers. Robert C. Denicola And Richard Dooling, WSJ, "Monkeying Around With Copyright Law," 26 Apr. 2018 The case featured a copyright infringement claim brought by a former New York City Police Department captain—Thomas Walker—who was assigned to the 41st precinct in the Bronx. Michael Mccann,, "Why the Law Appears to Favor Alabama in Budding Barbershop Battle With LeBron," 5 Apr. 2018 There appears to be disagreement among legal experts as to whether Domino's could have a legitimate trademark infringement claim involving Samcrac's car. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "YouTuber who bought, fixed Domino's Pizza car facing legal threats," 29 Mar. 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

17 Sep 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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