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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.


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Legal Instruments Examiner - a position classification for USPTO employees charged with docketing cases and other administrative processing that support the workflow and examination of applications.

Licensing Agreements

Licensing agreements are described as agreements setting out certain permitted use of materials or rights that the provider is entitled to grant, such as agreements to license the use of genetic resources as research tools, or to license the use of associated traditional knowledge or other intellectual property rights.

Likelihood of Confusion

A statutory basis (Trademark Act Section 2(d), 15 U.S.C. §1052(d), TMEP S1207 et seq.) for refusing registration of a trademark or service mark because it is likely to conflict with a mark or marks already registered or pending before the USPTO. After an application is filed, the assigned examining attorney will search the USPTO records to determine if such a conflict exists between the mark in the application and another mark that is registered or pending before the USPTO. The USPTO will not conduct any preliminary searches for conflicting marks before an applicant files an application and cannot provide legal advice on whether a particular mark can be registered.
The principal factors considered by the examining attorney in determining whether there is a likelihood of confusion are: (1) the similarity of the marks; and (2) the commercial relationship between the goods and/or services listed in the application.
To find a conflict, the marks do not have to be identical, and the goods and/or services do not have to be the same. It may be enough that the marks are similar and the goods and/or services related. If a conflict exists between your mark and a registered mark, the examining attorney will refuse registration on the ground of likelihood of confusion. If a conflict exists between your mark and a mark in a pending application that was filed before your application, the examining attorney will notify you of the potential conflict and possibly suspend action on your application. If the earlier-filed application registers, the Examining Attorney will refuse registration of your mark on the ground of likelihood of confusion.


“Limitation” refers to the act of limiting; the quality, state, or condition of being limited, a restriction. The word “limits,” in addition to “exceptions,” refers to “boundaries” or “restrictions”. In order to maintain an appropriate balance between the interests of rights holders and users of protected works, copyright laws allow certain limitations on economic rights, that is, cases in which protected works may be used without the authorization of the right holder and with or without payment of compensation.

Literary Works

Works, other than audiovisual works, expressed in words, numbers, or other verbal or numerical symbols or indicia, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as books, periodicals, manU.S.C.ripts, phonorecords, film, tapes, disks, or cards, in which they are embodied.

Locarno Classification

The Locarno Classification, established by the Locarno Agreement (1968), is an international classification used for the purposes of the registration of industrial designs. It comprises a list of terms into which industrial designs are incorporated. These terms to describe goods are called product indications.


/ləˈkjuːnəz/ /ləˈkjunə/

Latin for "void, gap". A situation arising that is not covered by any law, especially when related situations are covered by the law or where the situation appears to fall "between" multiple laws. Generally used in International Law, which is less comprehensive than most domestic legal systems.

laesio enormis

/læsiˌeiu ɛnəʊrːmɪs/
/læsiˌou ɛnoʊˈrmɪs/

Latin for "unusual injury". Lesion beyond moiety, i.e. excessive loss or injury used as grounds for setting aside a contract; sold for less than half its value or purchased for more than double

lex commissoria

/lɛks kɒmɪsəriːə/ /lɛks kɑməˌsɛrˈiə/

Latin for "cancelling law". Forfeiture clause for nonperformance of a contract, especially (1) a provision that a pledge shall be forfeited if a loan is defaulted, or (2) a condition that money paid on a contract of sale shall be forfeited and the sale rescinded if outstanding payments are defaulted. Also known as a pactum commissorium.

lex communis

/lɛks kɒmjʊnɪs/ /lɛks kɑmjunɪs/

Latin for "common law". Alternate form of jus commune. Refers to common facets of civil law that underlie all aspects of the law.

lex fori

/lɛks fəˈrɪ/ /lɛks fɔrɪ/

The law of the country in which an action is brought out.

lex lata

/lɛks lɑːtə/ /lɛks lɑːtə/

Latin for "the law borne". The law as it has been enacted.

lex loci

/lɛks ləʊsaɪ/ /lɛks loʊˌsaɪ/

Latin for "the law of the place". The law of the country, state, or locality where the matter under litigation took place. Usually used in contract law, to determine which laws govern the contract.

lex scripta

/lɛks skrɪptə/ /lɛks skrɪptə/

Latin for "written law". Law that specifically codifies something, as opposed to common law or customary law.

liberandi causa

/lɪbərəndaɪ ˈkaʊzə/ /lɪbərændi kausɑ/

Latin for "liberating cause". As in ‘prescription liberandi causa’, i.e. liberative prescription (aka extinctive prescription), which is the civilian equivalent of a statutory limitation period.

liberum veto

/lɪbərɛm viːtəʊ/ /lɪbərɛm vitoʊ/

Latin for "free veto". An aspect of a unanimous voting system, whereby any member can end discussion on a proposed law.

lingua franca

/ˈlɪŋɡwə ˈfræŋkə/ /ˈlɪŋgwə ˈfræŋkə/

Latin for "the Frankish language". A language common to an area that is spoken by all, even if not their mother tongue. Term derives from the name given to a common language used by traders in the mediterranean basin dating from the middle ages.

lis alibi pendens

/lɪs ælɪˌbaɪ pɛndɛnz/
/lɪs æləˌbaɪ pɛndɛnz/

Latin for "lawsuit elsewhere pending". Refers to requesting a legal dispute be heard that is also being heard by another court. To avoid possibly contradictory judgements, this request will not be granted.

lis pendens

/lɪs ˈpɛndɛnz/ /lɪs ˈpɛndɛnz/

Latin for "suit pending". Often used in the context of public announcements of legal proceedings to come.

locatio conductio

/loʊˈkeɪʃəʊ kənˈdʌkʃəʊ/
/loʊˈkeɪʃoʊ kənˈdʌkʃəoʊ/

Latin for "leasing (and) hiring". Hire or rental.

locatio conductio operarum

/loʊˈkeɪʃəʊ kənˈdʌkʃəʊ ɒpərərʌm/
/loʊˈkeɪʃoʊ kənˈdʌkʃəoʊ ɑprərʌm/

employment, indentured servitude, and master/slave relationship

locatio conductio operis

/loʊˈkeɪʃəʊ kənˈdʌkʃəʊ ɒpərɪ/
/loʊˈkeɪʃoʊ kənˈdʌkʃəoʊ ɑpəri/

Hire of service provider or independent contractor

locatio conductio rei

/loʊˈkeɪʃəʊ kənˈdʌkʃəʊ reɪ/
/loʊˈkeɪʃoʊ kənˈdʌkʃəoʊ raɪ/

Rental or letting of property


/ləʊkəs/ /loʊkəs/

Latin for "place".

locus delicti

/ləʊkəs dɪˈlɪktaɪ/ /loʊkəs dəˈlɪkˌtaɪ/

Latin for "place of the crime". Shorthand version of Lex locus delcti commissi. The "scene of the crime".

locus in quo

/ləʊkəs ɪn kweʊ/ or /loʊkəs ɪn kwoʊ/

Latin for "the place in which". The location where a cause of action arose.

locus poenitentiae

/ləʊkəs piːˈnitɛnʃɪə/
/ˈloʊkəs poʊəntɛnʃɪə/

Latin for "place of repentance". When one party withdraws from a contract before all parties are bound.

locus standi

/ləʊkəs stændaɪ/ /ˈloʊkəs stændaɪ/

Latin for "place of standing". The right of a party to appear and be heard before a court.

lucrum cessans

/lʊkrəm sɛsəns/ /lʌkrəm sɛsəns/

Latin for "ceasing profit". Prospective damages or loss of profits that would, because of the contractual breach, have been made in the future.

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