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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.


Science and technology.


Secure Application Filed Electronically.


The State Administrations for Industry and Commerce. It is China's administrative authority in charge of supervision, regulation and law enforcement relating to industry and commerce.


SB is used today as part of the label in our form designations (e.g., PTO/SB/05 ). The origin of this notation is a Specimen Book (no longer in use) that included all of the forms.


Standing Committee on the Law of Patents.


Sustainable Development Goals. As the UN explains, "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership." The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) supports these goals, as Francis Gurry, Director General adds: " The economic imperative at the heart of innovation is fundamental to the process of societal transformation that the Sustainable Development Goals aim to achieve."


System Development Manager.


Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) are patents that are essential and unavoidable for the implementation of a standardized technology. They represent core, pioneering innovation that entire industries will build upon. These patents protect innovation that has taken extraordinary effort to achieve. Owners of SEPs are obliged (and often obligated) to offer the technology to others at a fair and non-discriminatory price.


A type of form designation such as Form SF51, meaning a Standard Form used throughout the Federal Government.


State Intellectual Property Office, which was also commonly known as the Chinese Patent Office and which has been superseded by CNIPA.


A published statutory invention registration contains the specification and drawings of a regularly filed nonprovisional application for a patent without examination if the applicant - (1) meets the requirements of section 112 of this title; (2) has complied with the requirements for printing, as set forth in regulations of the Commissioner; (3) waives the right to receive a patent on the invention within such period as may be prescribed by the Commissioner; and (4) pays application, publication, and other processing fees established by the Commissioner. A request for a statutory invention registration (SIR) may be filed at the time of filing a nonprovisional application for patent, or may be filed later during pendency of the nonprovisional application.


Search and Information Resources Administration, an organizational unit of the Patent business area.


Service mark.


Standards, Mentor, Attempt, Review, Transition -- an informal development program used for USPTO's OCIO employees that identifies standards to work towards and establishes a mentoring relationship between managers and their employees who must meet these standards.


Small and medium-sized enterprises. The term is used to distinguish the size of a company, usually, but not always exclusively, based on the number of employees. It is used by many regional and international organizations, such as the EU, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, among others. However, it is important to note that at a country level, the definitions can vary considerably. Follow the link for more detailed information on country-specific definitions.


Statement of Use.


Supplementary Protection Certificate. Applies to patents in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. If granted, it extends protection of certain patent rights from the time when the original patent expires, usually for a maximum of five years. It is used for products (pharmaceutical and plant) that require regulatory approval before they can be sold in a market. The SPC compensates for the time during which a patent is granted but the product cannot be sold.


Service Reference Model - also known as a Service Component Reference Model -- a business and performance-driven, functional framework that classifies Service Components with respect to how they support business and/or performance objectives; structured across horizontal and vertical service domains that, independent of the business functions, can provide a leverage-able foundation to support the reuse of applications, application capabilities, components, and business services.


Standard Setting Organization. An organization that develops, promotes or supports standards in areas such as information and communications technologies, for example WiFi.


Shortened Statutory Period.

SSPPU (Smallest Salable Patent Pricing Unit)

Smallest Salable Patent Pricing Unit (SSPPU) is a valuation method used as a preliminary step toward the calculation of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory royalties for licenses over standard-essential patents (SEPs)


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics


“Sacred” refers to “any expression of traditional knowledge that symbolizes or pertains to religious and spiritual beliefs, practices or customs. It is used as the opposite of profane or secular, the extreme forms of which are commercially exploited forms of traditional knowledge.”
Sacred traditional knowledge refers to the traditional knowledge which includes religious and spiritual elements, such as totems, special ceremonies, sacred objects, sacred knowledge, prayers, chants, and performances and also sacred symbols, and also refers to sacred traditional knowledge associated with sacred species of plants, animals, microorganisms, minerals, and refers to sacred sites. Whether traditional knowledge is sacred or not depends on whether it has sacred significance to the relevant community. Much sacred traditional knowledge is by definition not commercialized, but some sacred objects and sites are being commercialized by religious, faith-based and spiritual communities themselves, or by outsiders to these, and for different purposes.


The United Nations Education, Science And Culture Organization (UNESCO) Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) describes safeguarding measures as: “measures aimed at ensuring the viability of the intangible cultural heritage, including the identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission, particularly through formal and non formal education, as well as the revitalization of the various aspects of such heritage.” Safeguarding refers to the adoption of precautionary measures to shield certain cultural practices and ideas which are considered of value.


What is included - as in the scope of a claim.

Search Copy

Copy of an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty maintained by the International Searching Authority.

Secondary Infringement

The act of distributing copyrighted work in such a way that allows for the illegal consumption of the work in question. In some cases, the person consuming the copyright-protected material may also be liable for infringement.


Something “secret” is something that is kept from the knowledge of others or shared only with those concerned. “Sacred-secret” traditional knowledge and cultural expressions have a secret or sacred significance according to the customary law and practices of their traditional owners.

Section 15 Declaration of Incontestability

A sworn statement, filed by the owner of a mark registered on the Principal Register, claiming "incontestable" rights in the mark for the goods/services specified. An "incontestable" registration is conclusive evidence of the validity of the registered mark, of the registration of the mark, of the owner's ownership of the mark and of the owner's exclusive right to use the mark with the goods/services. The claim of incontestability is subject to certain limited exceptions set forth in SS15 and 33(b) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1065 and §1115(b).
Filing a Section 15 Declaration is optional. However, there are certain rules governing when one may be filed. A S15 Affidavit may not be filed until the mark has been in continuous use in commerce for at least five consecutive years subsequent to the date of registration for marks registered under the Act of 1946 (and subsequent to the date of publication under S12(c) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1062(c), for marks registered under the Acts of 1905 and 1881 for which the benefits of the Act of 1946 have been claimed). The S15 Affidavit must be executed and filed within one year following a 5-year period of continuous use of the mark in commerce.
Marks registered on the Supplemental Register are not eligible for claims of incontestable rights under S15.

Section 8 Declaration of Continued Use

A sworn statement, filed by the owner of a registration that the mark is in use in commerce. Section 8 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1058. It must be filed by the current owner of the registration and the USPTO must receive it during the following time periods: 1) At the end of the 6th year after the date of registration (or the date of publication under 15 U.S.C. §1062(c) for registrations issued under the Acts of 1905 or 1881 that have claimed the benefits of the Act of 1946),.
2) At the end of each successive 10-year period after the date of registration. There is a six-month grace period. If these rules and deadlines are not met, the USPTO will cancel the registration.

Section 8 Declaration of Excusable Nonuse

A sworn statement, filed by the owner of a registration, that the mark is not in use in commerce due to special circumstances that excuse such nonuse and is not due to any intention to abandon the mark. Section 8 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1058. It must be filed by the current owner of the registration and the USPTO must receive it during the following time periods: 1) At the end of the 6th year after the date of registration (or the date of publication under 15 U.S.C. §1062(c) for registrations issued under the Acts of 1905 or 1881 that have claimed the benefits of the Act of 1946), AND 2) At the end of each successive 10-year period after the date of registration. There is a six-month grace period. If these rules and deadlines are not met, the USPTO will cancel the registration.
Once the USPTO accepts the Section 8 Declaration of Excusable Nonuse, the owner of the registration is not required to file another Section 8 Declaration until the next statutory filing period.

Section 9 Renewal Application

A sworn document, filed by the owner of a registration, to avoid the expiration of a registration. Federal trademark registrations issued on or after November 16, 1989, remain in force for 10 years, and may be renewed for 10-year periods. Trademark registrations issued or renewed prior to November 16, 1989 remain in force for 20 years, and may be renewed for 10-year periods. Trademark owners have a total of 18 months to file a S9 Renewal Application. The S9 Renewal Application may be filed one year prior to the registration expiration date or during the 6-month grace period immediately after the date of expiration. If the S9 Renewal Application is not filed or is filed after the grace period ends, the registration will expire.
Because the due date of the 10-year S8 Declaration coincides with the due date of the S9 Renewal Application, the USPTO created a form entitled "Combined Declaration of Use in Commerce and Application for Renewal of Registration of a Mark Under Sections 8 & 9"

Seminal Patents

A seminal patent is defined as an invention so impactful that it creates or shifts the technology space. Other inventors use those inventions as prior art for their own inventions, which can be better versions to the original concept.

Series Code

A two-digit code representing a period of time. Application Filing Date - examples: 01/01/1979-12/31/1986 Series 06; 01/01/1987-12/31/1992 Series 07; 01/01/1993-12/31/1997 Series 08; 01/01/1998-November 2001 Series 09; December 2001-Present Series 10.

Service Mark

A word, name, symbol or device that is to indicate the source of the services and to distinguish them from the services of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms "trademark" and "mark" are often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.


A Chinese term originally meaning bandit, in today's culture it refers to businesses based on counterfeit, fake or pirated products.

Silicon Intellectual Property

In the semiconductor industry, this describes a business model in which a semiconductor company licenses its technology, known as 'IP core,' to another party. IP core can refer to technologies such as chip layout design.

Skilled in the art

According to WIPO, this refers to a hypothetical person who has a common general knowledge in the art to which the claimed invention pertains.

Small Business Concern

For purposes of small entity determination per MPEP 509.02 - any business concerned meeting the size standards set forth in 13 CFR Part 121 to be eligible for reduced patent fees. Questions related to size standards for a small business concern may be directed to: Small Business Administration, Size Standards Staff, 409 Third Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416.

Small Entity

For purposes of small entity determination per MPEP 509.02 - means an independent inventor, a small business concern, or a nonprofit organization eligible for reduced patent fees.

Soft IP

A contentious term sometimes used to refer to trademarks, copyright, and domain names, to differentiate from ‘hard IP’, referring to patents.

Source Code

Source Code is code in one of a number of higher-level languages which simplifies the process of drafting Object Code. Source Code is not usually disclosed by a software developer and as such is typically confidential information.

Source of genetic resources

In its proposal “Declaration of source of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications” the Delegation of Switzerland proposed to require patent applicants to declare the “source” of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. It stated that “the term ‘source’ should be understood in its broadest sense possible”, since “a multitude of entities may be involved in access and benefit-sharing. In the foreground to be declared as the source is the entity competent (1) to grant access to genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge or (2) to participate in the sharing of the benefits arising out of their utilization. Depending on the genetic resource or traditional knowledge in question, one can distinguish: primary sources, including in particular Contracting Parties providing genetic resources, the Multilateral System of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s International Treaty, indigenous and local communities; and secondary sources, including in particular ex situ collections and scientific literature.”


A written description of the invention and the manner and process of making and using the same.


A real-world example of how the mark is actually used on goods or in the offer of services.
Labels, tags, or containers for goods are considered to be acceptable specimens of use for a trademark. For a service mark, specimens may be advertising such as magazine advertisements or brochures. Actual specimens, rather than facsimiles, are preferred. However, if the actual specimens are bulky, or larger than 8" x 11", then the applicant must submit facsimiles, (e.g., photographs or good photocopies) of the specimens. Facsimiles may not exceed 8" x 11". One specimen is required for each class of goods or services specified in the trademark application.
Specimens are required in applications based on actual use in commerce, Section 1(a), 15 U.S.C. §1051(a), and must be filed with the Amendment to Allege Use, 15 U.S.C. §1051(c), or the Statement of Use, 15 U.S.C. §1051(d), in applications based on a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce, Section 1(b), 15 U.S.C. §1051(b). Specimens are not required for applications based on a foreign application or registration under Section 44 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1126, or for applications based on an extension of protection of an international registration to the United States under Section 66(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1141f.

Stage-Gate (TM) Innovation Process

The Stage-Gate (TM) innovation process provides a framework for product development from discovery and ideation through to launch. It describes a sequence of seven activities: discovery, scoping, building a business case, development, testing and validation, launch and post launch review. Between each of these activities there is a sequence of five gates. Gate 1 (between discovery and scoping) is referred to as the idea screen. There is a second screen between scoping and building the business case (Gate 2). Gates 3, 4 and 5 refer to 'Go to development,' 'Go to testing,' and 'Go to launch' respectively. A gate represents a decision point to determine whether a project should continue to the next phase or not. The framework is designed so that theoretically only the strongest ideas with the highest chance of commercial success should make it through each stage.

Standard Character Format

An applicant may submit a standard character format representation of a mark if (1) All letters and words in the mark are depicted in Latin characters; (2) all numerals in the mark are depicted in Roman or Arabic numerals; (3) the mark includes only common punctuation or diacritical marks; and (4) the mark does not include a design element.

Standardised Assignee

Standardised assignee is a single naming convention used to describe the same patent owner, across different patent documents. For example, all patent documents with the assignee names “I.B.M, or IBM Inc., or IBM Consulting, or International Business Machines”, are assigned the standardised owner “IBM”.

Statement of Net Cost

Compares fees earned to costs incurred during a specific period of time.

Statement of Use

SOU - a sworn statement signed by the applicant or a person authorized to sign on behalf of the applicant attesting to use of the mark in commerce. With a statement of use, the owner must submit: (1) a filing fee of $100 per class of goods/services; and (2) one specimen showing use of the mark in commerce for each class of goods/services.
Statements of use must be filed within 6 months from the date the USPTO issues a notice of allowance. Failure to submit the statement of use in a timely manner results in abandonment of the application.
The Amendment to Allege Use and the Statement of Use include the same information, and differ only as to the time when it is filed.

Statutory Disclaimer

Under 35 U.S.C. §253 (paragraph 1) and 37 C.F.R. 1.321(a), the owner (in part or in entirety) of a patent may relinquish all rights to a complete claim or claims of the owner's patent.

Stylized Mark

One type of depiction of the mark sought to be registered. Another name for this type of mark is "special form." If the mark includes a particular style of lettering, or a design or logo, the mark is considered to be stylized or in special form. Therefore, applicants must select the "stylized or special form" mark format when applying for these types of marks. The representation of the mark's page should show a black and white image of the mark, no larger than 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches (8 cm by 8 cm). The mark in special form must be a substantially exact representation of the mark as it appears on the specimen or on the foreign registration, as appropriate.

Subsequent Designation

A request by the holder of an international trademark registration for an extension of protection of the registration to additional Contracting Parties.

Substantial Part

Relating to copyright infringement, substantial part is used when deciding the level of which a work was copied or not copied.

Substantive Reasons for Refusal

There are several substantive reasons for refusing registration of a mark. These include: likelihood of confusion; primarily merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the goods/services; primarily geographically descriptive or primarily geographically deceptively; misdescriptive of the goods/services; primarily merely a surname; or mere ornamentation. This is not a complete list of all possible grounds of refusal.

Substitute Patent Application

An application which is in essence a duplicate of a prior (earlier filed) application by the same applicant abandoned before the filing of the substitute (later filed) application; a substitute application does not obtain the benefit of the filing date of the prior application.

Suggestive Mark

A mark that, when applied to the goods or services at issue, requires imagination, thought or perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of those goods or services.

Summary Judgment

A judgment that may be granted upon a party's motion when the pleadings, discovery and declarations show that there is no issue of material fact for a jury to find and that the party is entitled to the judgment in its favor as a matter of law.

Supplemental Register

Secondary trademark register for the USPTO. It allows for registration of certain marks that are not eligible for registration on the Principal Register, but are capable of distinguishing an applicant's goods or services. Marks registered on the Supplemental Register receive protection from conflicting marks and other protections, but are excluded from receiving the advantages of certain sections of the Trademark Act of 1946. The excluded sections are listed in 15 U.S.C. §1094.
If the applicant seeks registration on the Supplemental Register, the application should state that registration is requested on the Supplemental Register. If no register is specified, the Office will presume that the applicant seeks registration on the Principal Register. To register a mark on the Supplemental Register, applicants must either be using the mark or filing under Trademark Act Section 44 based on a foreign registration.

Surcharge Due

An additional fee that may be required due to late or insufficient payment of fees.

Suspension Inquiry Letter

An Office action inquiring as to the status of the matter that is the basis for suspension of an application. The examining attorney will issue a suspension inquiry letter after an application has been suspended for six months or more, unless the information is available to the examining attorney in the Office's databases. If the applicant does not respond to the suspension inquiry letter, the application will be abandoned.

Suspension Letter

Suspends the action on an application. An application may be suspended for a variety of reasons. These include waiting for the disposition of a cited prior pending application to be determined or waiting for an assignment of ownership to be recorded. Applicants do not need to respond to suspension letters.

Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore

A protocol was adopted by member states of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in August 2010 during the Diplomatic Conference held in Swakopmund, Namibia. According to Article 1.1, this Protocol aims: “(a) to protect traditional knowledge holders against any infringement of their rights as recognized by this Protocol; and (b) to protect expressions of folklore against misappropriation, misuse and unlawful exploitation beyond their traditional context”. The Protocol entered into force on May 11, 2015 when six Member States of the ARIPO either deposited instruments of ratification or instruments of accession.

salva rei substantia

/ˈsælvə reɪ səbˈstænʃɪə/
/sælvə raɪ səbˈstænʃiə/

Latin for "the thing's substance intact". Limitation on how a fiduciary can use the fideicommissary assets; ultimately they must maintain their essential quality until transferred to the fideicommissary. Plural salva rerum substantia.

scandalum magnatum

/skændələm mæɡnɪtəm/
/skændələm mæɡnɪtəm/

Latin for "scandal of the magnates". Defamation against a peer in British law. Now repealed as a specific offense.


/saɪˈɛntə/ /saɪˈɛntɛr/

Latin for "knowingly". Used when offenses or torts were committed with the full awareness of the one so committing.

scire facias

/saɪərɪ ˈfeɪʃɪˌæs/ /ˈsaɪri ˈfeɪʃiˌæs/

Latin for "Let them know". A writ, directing local officials to officially inform a party of official proceedings concerning them.

scire feci

/saɪərɪ fɛsɪ/ /saɪri fɛsə/

Latin for "I have made known". The official response of the official serving a writ of scire facias, informing the court that the writ has been properly delivered.

se defendendo

/seɪ dɪˈfɛndʊ/ /si ˌdifenˈdendou/

Latin for "self-defense". The act of defending one's own person or property, or the well-being or property of another.

secundum formam statuti

/sɛˈkʊndʊm fɔːməˌmstætʃuːti/
/sɪˈkʌndəmˈfɔrməm stætʃuti/

Latin for "according to the form of the statute".

semiplena probatio, probatio semiplena

/sɛmɪplɛnə prəˈbeɪʃɪˌəʊ/
/ˈsɛmɪpelənə proʊˈbeɪʃiˌoʊ/

Latin for "half proof, imperfect proof". Executed in presence of 1 or no witnesses; includes private instruments


/sɪərɪˈætɪm/ /ˌsɪriˈeɪtɪm/

Latin for "in series". Describes the process in which the court hears assorted matters in a specific order. Also refers to an occasion where a multiple-judge panel will issue individual opinions from the members, rather than a single ruling from the entire panel.


/sɜːˈviːtəs/ /səʀˈvitəs/

Latin for "servitude, subjugation". Servitude, i.e. an easement. Plural servitudes.

si sine liberis decesserit

/siː saɪn liːbərɪs disɛsɪrit/
/si saɪn lɪˈbɪriəs dəˌsɛsəˈɛrit/

Latin for "if (he) should depart without children". Certain type of clause in a will creating a fideicommissum by imposing a condition on the will beneficiary that if (s)he dies childless, the testamentary gift will transfer to a third party. Ex: If A dies childless after my death, the farm must go to B. 

sine die

/saɪnɪ ˈdaɪɪ/ /saɪni ˈdaɪi/

Latin for "without day". Used when the court is adjourning without specifying a date to re-convene.

sine qua non

/saɪnɪ kweɪ ˈnɒn/ /sɪne kwɑː ˈnoun/

Latin for "without which, nothing". Refers to some essential event or action, without which there can be no specified consequence.


/saɪtəs/ /saɪtəs/

Latin for "the place". Used to refer to laws specific to the location where specific property exists, or where an offense or tort was committed.

solutio indebiti

/səˈluːʃəʊ ɪnˈdɛbɪtɪ/ /səˈluʃəoʊ ɪnˈdɛbɪtɪ/

Latin for "performance of something not due". Undue performance or payment, obliging the enriched (accipiens) to return the undue payment or compensate the impoverished (solvens) for the undue performance


/spɪˈsɪfɪkeɪʃɪˌəʊ/ /spəˈsɪfɪkeɪʃoʊ/

Specification, i.e. mode of acquisition by creation wherein something new is made by adding labor (manufacturing) to property, and the non-reducible parts used for its fabrication lose their identity (vs. accessio, commixtio). The new thing is called nova species.

stante matrimonio

/stæntɪ mætrɪˈməʊnɪəʊ/
/stænti mætrəˈmoʊniəoʊ/

During the marriage

stare decisis

/stɛə dɪˈsaɪsɪs/ /stɛr dɪˈsaɪsɪs/

Latin for "to stand by [things] decided". The obligation of a judge to stand by a prior precedent.

status quo

/steɪtəs kwəʊ/ /steɪtəs kwou/

Latin for "the state in which". In contract law, in a case of innocent representation, the injured party is entitled to be replaced in statu quo. Note the common usage is status quo from the Latin status quo ante, the "state in which before" or "the state of affairs that existed previously."


/stɪpjʊˌleɪns/ /stɪpjəˌleɪns/


stipulatio alteri

/stɪpjʊˌleɪʃɪˌəʊ ɔːlˈtɛrɪ/
/stɪpjəˌleɪʃoʊ ɔlˈtɛrə/

Latin for "another’s (contractual) provision". Third-party contract. Also known as pactum in favorem tertii (Scots law)


/ˈstrɑːtəm/ /streɪtəm/

Latin for "a covering, from neuter past participle of sternere, to spread". 1) In property law, condominiums has said to occupy stratum many stories about the ground.

sua sponte

/swɑ spɒnti/ /swɑ spɑnti/

Latin for "of its own accord". Some action taken by the public prosecutor or another official body, without the prompting of a plaintiff or another party.

sub judice

/sʌb dʒuːdɪsɪ/ /sʌb dʒuːdɪˌsi/

Latin for "under the judge". Refers to a matter currently being considered by the court.

sub modo

/sʌb mɔdɔ/ /sʌb moʊdoʊ/

Latin for "subject to modification". Term in contract law that allows limited modifications to a contract after the original form has been agreed to by all parties.

sub nomine

/sʌb noʊmaɪn/ /sʌb nɑmɪni/

Latin for "under the name". Abbreviated sub nom.; used in case citations to indicate that the official name of a case changed during the proceedings, usually after appeal (e.g., rev'd sub nom. and aff'd sub nom.)

sub silentio

/sʌb sɪˈlɛnʃɪˌəʊ/ /sʌb saɪlənʃoʊ/

Latin for "under silence". A ruling, order, or other court action made without specifically stating the ruling, order, or action. The effect of the ruling or action is implied by related and subsequent actions, but not specifically stated.


/səbˈpiːnə/ /səˈpinə/

Latin for "under penalty". A writ compelling testimony, the production of evidence, or some other action, under penalty for failure to do so.

subpoena ad testificandum

/səbˈpiːnə æd tɛˈstɪfɪˌkendəm/
/səˈpinə æd tɛstəfikʌndəm/

Latin for "under penalty to be witnessed". An order compelling an entity to give oral testimony in a legal matter.

subpoena duces tecum

/səbˈpiːnə duːtʃe tɪˈkʌm/
/səˈpinə duːtʃei tɪˈkʌm/

Latin for "bring with you under penalty". An order compelling an entity to produce physical evidence or witness in a legal matter.

suggestio falsi

/səˈdʒɛsʃɪˌəʊ fɔːlˈsɪ/ /səgˈdʒɛsʃoʊ fɔlsi/

Latin for "false suggestion". A false statement made in the negotiation of a contract.

sui generis

/suːaɪ ˈdʒɛnərɪs/ /suːai ˈdʒenərɪs/

Latin for "of its own kind/genus". Something that is unique amongst a group.
“sui generis” is “[Latin “of its own kind”] of its own kind or class; unique or peculiar. The term is used in intellectual property law to describe a regime designed to protect rights that fall outside the traditional patent, trademark, copyright, and trade-secret doctrines. For example, a database may not be protected by copyright law if its content is not original, but it could be protected by a sui generis statute designed for that purpose.” A sui generis system is a system specifically designed to address the needs and concerns of a particular issue. There are already several examples of sui generis intellectual property rights such as plant breeders’ rights—as reflected in the International Convention on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, 1991 (“the UPOV Convention”)—and the intellectual property protection of integrated circuits—as reflected in the Treaty on Intellectual Property in respect of Integrated Circuits, 1989 (“The Washington Treaty”), among others. The Panama Law No. 20 of 26 June 2000 on the Special Intellectual Property Regime with Respect to the Collective Rights of Indigenous Peoples to the Protection and Defense of their Cultural Identity and Traditional Knowledge is a sui generis regime.

sui heredes necessarii

/suːaɪ hɪˈriːdiːz nɪˌsɛsɪˈrɪə/
/suɪ həˈrɛdɪs nəˌsɛsəˈriə/

Latin for "Forced heirs".

sui juris

/suːaɪ ˈdʒʊərɪs/ /suɪ dʒʊrɪs/

Latin for "of his own right". Refers to one legally competent to manage his own affairs. Also spelled sui iuris.

suo motu

/suːəʊ məʊˈtu/ /ˈsuoʊ məʊtu/

Latin for "of its own motion". Refers to a court or other official agency taking some action on its own accord (synonyms: ex proprio motu, ex mero motu). Similar to sua sponte.


/suːpəˈfɪʃiːz/ /supərˈfɪʃiˌiz/

Latin for "surface". Surface right, surface estate.


/suːpəˈsiːdɪæs/ /supərˈsidiˌæs/

Latin for "refrain from". A bond tendered by an appellant as surety to the court, requesting a delay of payment for awards or damages granted, pending the outcome of the appeal.

suppressio veri

/səˈprɛsɪəʊ vɪˈrɪ/ /səˈprɛʃəoʊ vəˈrɪ/

Latin for "suppression of the truth". Willful concealment of the truth when bound to reveal it, such as withholding details of damage from an auto accident from a prospective buyer of the car in that accident.


/ˈsuːprə/ /ˈsuprə/

Latin for "above". Used in citations to refer to a previously cited source.

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