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The Everyday Dictionary of Law

The Everyday Dictionary of Law provides legal vocabulary currently in use in common law jurisdictions such as most notably, in the United States. The dictionary is compiled specifically for commercial and intellectual property law practitioners, which provides simple definitions and meanings in American English, for legal terms (including Latin terms) used in formal correspondence, court proceedings, and motion practice as well as common language words that are frequently used in the same. It is a simple reference guide for attorneys, paralegals as well as casual readers who need to check the meaning of a particular legal term in due course of their work.


The information provided by Carthaginian Ventures Private Limited d/b/a Copperpod IP (“we,” “us” or “our”) on this site is for general informational purposes only. All information on the website is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any information on the site. Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the site or reliance on any information provided on the site. Your use and  and reliance on any information on the site constitutes your understanding, acceptance and agreement of these terms and conditions.


Enterprise Architecture.


Enterprise Application Integration.


Examiner Automated Search Tools - a system used by patent examiners within the USPTO.


Electronic Business Center - includes links to Patents EBC and Trademarks EBC.
A web page containing hyperlinks to all online systems for conducting electronic commerce with the USPTO.


Enterprise Directory Services.


Enterprise Data Warehouse.


Electronic Filing Partnership.


Electronic Filing System (for patent applications).
Supports secure electronic filing of Patent application documents via the Internet.


Electronic Filing System n Application Body extensible Markup Language authoring tool (for patent applications); superseded by EFS-Web.


Electronic Filing System - web-based filing using PDF files.


Electronic Funds Transfer


Elected Office - the national Office or intergovernmental organization of or acting for the Contracting State elected by the applicant under Chapter II of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.


European Patent Office


European Patent Office.


Electronic System for Trademark Trials and Appeals.


Emerging Technology Center.


Enterprise Training Division.


European Union.

Election (PCT)

An indication made by an applicant, in the Demand for an International Application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, as to the Contracting States in which applicant intends to use the results of the international preliminary examination.

Electronic File Wrapper

A system that provides a way to access electronic copies of the correspondence, documents and other pertinent records used in considering a particular case.


A discretely claimed component of a patent claim.


A manner in which an invention can be made, used, practiced or expressed.

Enforceability of Patent

The right of the patent owner to bring an infringement suit against a party who, without permission, makes, uses or sells the claimed invention. The period of enforceability of a patent is the length of the term of the patent plus the six years under the statute of limitations for bringing an infringement action.

Equitable Remuneration

Equitable remuneration refers to the remuneration of certain acts carried out in respect of a work or an object of related rights in an amount and in a manner consistent with what may be regarded as normal commercial standards in case of authorization of the same act by the owner of a copyright or related rights. Such remuneration is usually payable when economic rights are reduced to a right to remuneration (and, in general, applied based on non-voluntary license). The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, 1996 (WPPT), provides that performers and producers of phonograms enjoy the right to a single equitable remuneration for the direct or indirect use of phonograms, published for commercial purposes, for broadcasting or communication to the public (Article 15(1)). However, any Contracting Party may restrict or provide that it makes a reservation to the Treaty to deny this right (Article 15(3)).


A store, shop, or any similar place of business open to the general public for the primary purpose of selling goods or services in which the majority of the gross square feet of space that is nonresidential is used for that purpose, and in which nondramatic musical works are performed publicly.

Ex Parte Reexamination

/ɛks pɑːtɪ reɪɪɡˌzæmɪˈneɪʃən/
/eks pɑrti riɪgˌzæməˈneɪʃən/

If the request for ex parte reexamination is filed by a third party and not the patent owner, the third party may not participate in the ex parte proceedings beyond the filing of a reply to the patent owner's statement under 37 CFR Section 1.530, if the patent owner files a statement. No other reply or submission by a third party will be considered in ex parte reexamination.

Ex-situ Conservation

/ɛks sɪtju kɒnsəˈveɪʃən/
/eks sɪtu kɑnsərˈveɪʃən/

Referring to the definition of “ex situ conservation” in Article 2 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992), “ex situ” may be understood as “components of biological diversity outside their natural habitats.”

Examination Copy

A copy of an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty maintained by the International Preliminary Examining Authority.

Examiner's Amendment

A written confirmation of an amendment made to a trademark application. The trademark examining attorney assigned to the application will amend after consultation with an applicant or the applicant's attorney. The examiner's amendment is merely a written confirmation of the agreement between the examining attorney and the applicant as to the amendment, and it is also a notice that the amendment will be made. The applicant need not respond to the examiner's amendment unless the applicant wishes to make further changes to the application.

Examining Attorney

A USPTO employee who examines (reviews and determines compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements of) an application for registration of a federally registered trademark.


The term “exceptions” sets the limits of the use of a copyrighted work. Exceptions are closely concerned with the acts that relate to the protected elements. Sometimes the word “exception” covers legislative decisions which remove certain original creations from the owner’s monopoly (the text of laws or judicial decisions, for example) but, on the whole, it is a question of determining what uses of protected elements are neither subject to authorization nor remuneration. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1971), provides for the application of a three-step test to determine the permissibility of exceptions: (i) the exception may only cover certain special cases; (ii) the exception must not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and (iii) must not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the rights of right owners.

Express Abandonment

A patent application may be expressly abandoned by filing a written declaration of abandonment identifying the application in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The express abandonment becomes effective when an appropriate official of the Office takes action thereon. Express abandonment of the application may not be recognized by the USPTO before the date of issue or publication unless it is received by appropriate officials in time to act. Abandonment may be either of the invention or of an application. An abandoned application, under 37 CFR 1.135 and 1.138, is removed from the USPTO docket of pending applications.

Express Mail Mailing Label

Patent correspondence delivered to the USPTO via the "Express Mail Post Office to Addressee" service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) which is considered filed in the Office on the date of deposit with the USPS, shown by the "date-in" on the "Express Mail" mailing label.

Expression by Action

“Expressions by action” refer to expressions of the human body. They can include folk dances, plays and artistic forms of rituals, and need not be reduced to material form, e.g., be written down in choreographic notation.

Expressions of Folklore

In the WIPO-UNESCO Model Provisions, 1982, “expressions of folklore" are productions consisting of characteristic elements of the traditional artistic heritage developed and maintained by a community of a country or by individuals reflecting the traditional artistic expectations of such a community. Verbal expressions, such as folk tales, folk poetry and riddles, Musical expressions, such as folk songs and instrumental music, Expressions by action, such as folk dances, plays and artistic forms or rituals; whether or not reduced to a material form and Tangible expressions.


Electronic commerce.


Electronic government.


Electronic commerce portal.


Electronic Desktop Application Navigator.


Electronic Patent Assignment System.


Electronic Trademark Assignment System.


Electronic Trademark Examination Application System - electronic trademark filing system. It allows the public to complete various trademark filings and transactions on-line. For example, eTEAS allows you to complete trademark applications, preliminary amendments, amendments to allege use/statements of use, responses to Office actions, and post registration filings online, and then submit them directly over the Internet, paying by credit card, electronic funds transfer or an existing USPTO deposit account.

ejusdem generis

/ɪˈdʒʌsdɛm ˈdʒɛnərɪs/ /iˈdʒʌsdɛm dʒenərɪs/

Latin for "of the same class". Known as a "canon of construction", it states that when a limited list of specific things also includes a more general class, that the scope of that more general class shall be limited to other items more like the specific items in the list.

eo nomine

/iːˈəʊ nəʊmaɪn/ /iou ˈnɑmɪni/

Latin for "by that name".

erga omnes

/ɜːɡa ɒmneɪz/ / /ɜːrɡa oumneis/

Latin for "towards all". Refers to rights or obligations that are owed towards all.


/ɜːɡəʊ/ /ɜːrɡou/

Latin for "therefore".


/ɪˈrɑːtəm/ /ɛˈrɑtəm/

Latin for "having been made in error".

error in iudicando

/ˈɛrə ɪn iʊdikænˈdu/ /ɛrər ɪn iudɪˌkændou/

Latin for "the error in judgment (in court)". Error of fact and reasoning (vs. error in procedendo)

error in procedendo

/ˈɛrə ɪn prɛsɪdəndəʊ/ /ɛrər ɪn presɪdəndou/

Latin for "procedural error (in court)". Error on a point of law or procedure (vs. error in iudicando)

essentialia negotii

/ɪˈsɛnʃəlɪə nɪˈɡəʊʃɪə/
/əˈsɛnʃəljɑ nɪˈgoʊʃiˌeɪ/

Latin for "business essentials". Express or implied contractual terms that are required either by law or by the contract's subject matter. One of three types of contractual terms, the others being accidentalia negotii and naturalia negotii.

et al

/et ˈæl/ /et ˈæl/

Latin for "and others". Abbreviation of et alii, meaning "and others".

et cetera

/ɪt ˈsɛtrə/ /ɛtˈsɛtərə/

Latin for "and other things". Generally used in the sense of "and so forth".

et seq

/ɪt siːk/ /ɛt sik/

Latin for "and the following things". Abbreviation of et sequens, meaning "and the following ones". Used in citations to indicate that the cited portion extends to the pages following the cited page.

et uxor

/et ʌkˈsɔːr/ /ɛt ʌkˈsɔr/

Latin for "and wife". Usually used instead of naming a man's wife as a party in a case.

et vir

/et vɪˌr/ /ɛt vɪˈr/

Latin for "and husband". Usually used instead of naming a woman's husband as a party in a case.

ex aequo et bono

/ɛks ˈiːkwəʊ et bəʊnəʊ/
/ɛks eɪkwoʊ ɛt boʊˌnoʊ/

Latin for "of equity and [the] good". Usually defined as "what is right and good." Used to describe the power of a judge or arbiter to consider only what is fair and good for the specific case, and not necessarily what the law may require. In courts, usually only done if all parties agree.

ex ante

/ɛks ˈæntɪ/ /ˈeks ˈænti/

Latin for "of before". Essentially meaning "before the event", usually used when forecasting future events.

ex cathedra

/ɛks kəˈθiːdrə/ /eks kæθɪdrə/

Latin for "from the chair". Where chair refers to authority or position. Authority derived from one's position.

ex concessis

/ɛks kənˈsɛsɪs/ /eks kənˈsɛsɪs/

Latin for "from what has been conceded already". Also known as "argument from commitment", a type of valid ad hominem argument.

ex delicto

/ɛks dɪˈlɪktəʊ/ /eks dɪˈlɪktou/

Latin for "from a transgression". The consequence of a crime or tort.

ex demissione

/ɛks dɪˈmɪʃən/ /eks dəˈmɪʃən/

Latin for "from a transgression". part of the title of the old action of ejectment

ex facie

/ɛks feɪʃɪ/ /eks ˈfeiʃi/

Latin for "on the face". If a contract is blatantly and obviously incorrect or illegal, it can be considered void ex facie without any further analysis or arguments.

ex fida bona

/ɛks fɪdə bəʊnə/ /eks fɪdə boʊnə/

Latin for "good business norms".

ex gratia

/ɛks ɡreɪʃə/ /eks ɡreiʃiə/

Latin for "by favor". Something did voluntarily and with no expectation of a legal liability arising therefrom.

ex intervalo temporis

/ɛks ɪntəvəˈlɒ tɛmpəˌrɪz/
/eks intərvəˈlɑ tɛmpəˌrɪz/

Not all at once, in parts (vs. uno contextu).

ex nunc

/ɛks nʊŋk/ /eks nʌŋk/

Latin for "from now on". The term used in contract law to specify terms that are voided or confirmed in effect only in the future and not before the contract, or its adjudication. Cf. ex tunc.

ex officio

/ɛks əˈfɪʃɪəʊ/ /eks əˈfɪʃiˌou/

Latin for "from the office". Something did or realized by the fact of holding any office or position.

ex parte

/ɛks pɑːtɪ/ /eks ˈpɑrti/

Latin for "from [for] one party". A decision reached, or case brought, by or for one party without the other party being present.

ex post

/ɛks pəʊst/ /eks poʊst/

Latin for "from after". Based on the knowledge of the past.

ex post facto

/ɛks pəʊst fæktəʊ/ /eks poʊst fæktoʊ/

Latin for "from a thing done afterward". Commonly said as "after the fact."

ex post facto law

/ɛks pəʊst fæktəʊ lɔː/
/eks poʊst fæktoʊ lɔ/

A retroactive law. E.g. a law that makes illegal an act that was not illegal when it was done.

ex propriis sensibus

/ɛks prəʊprɪs sɛnsɪbəs/
/eks proʊprɪs sɛnsəbəs/

Latin for "with one's senses". Used for firsthand testimony, e.g. testimony ex propriis sensibus (vs. per relationem).

ex proprio motu

/ɛks ˈprəʊprɪˌəʊ məʊtuː/
/eks ˈproupri ˌou moutuː/

Latin for "by [one's] own motion". Commonly spoken as "by one's own accord."

ex rel

/ɛks riːˈl/ /eks rɪˈl/

Latin for "[arising] out of the narration [of the relator]". Abbreviation of ex relatione. Used when the government brings a case that arises from the information conveyed to it by a third party ("realtor").

ex tunc

/ɛks tjuːnk/ /eks tunk/

Latin for "from then". The term used in contract law to specify terms that are voided or confirmed in effect from the execution of the contract. Cf. ex nunc.

exempli gratia

/ɪɡˈzɛmplaɪ ˈɡrɑːtɪˌɑː/
/ɛgˌzɛmplə ɡʀɑːtiˌɑ/

Latin for "for the sake of example". Usually abbreviated "e.g.".


/ɛkˈstænt/ /ɪkˈstænt/

Latin for "existing". Refers to things that are currently existing at a given point, rather than things that are no longer so.

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