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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.


United States Code.


Unregistered Community Design


Unregistered Design Right


Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.


USPTO Enterprise Architecture.


Unified Modeling Language.

UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Convention was adopted by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) in 2003 and entered into force on April 20, 2006. It aims at safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, at ensuring respect for the intangible cultural heritage of communities, groups and individuals, at raising awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage and at ensuring mutual appreciation thereof, and at providing for international cooperation and assistance.

UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property

The Convention was adopted by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) in 1970 to protect the cultural property existing within the territories of States against the dangers of theft, clandestine excavation, and illicit export. It entered into force in 1972.
The Convention requires its States Parties to take action in three main fields: 1- Preventive measures: inventories, export certificates, monitoring trade, imposition of penal or administrative sanctions, educational campaigns, etc. 2- Restitution provisions: Per Article 7 (b) (ii) of the Convention, States Parties undertake, at the request of the State Party “of origin,” to take appropriate steps to recover and return any such cultural property imported after the entry into force of the Convention in both States concerned, provided, however, that the requesting State shall pay just compensation to an innocent purchaser or to a person who has valid title to that property. More indirectly and subject to domestic legislation, Article 13 of the Convention also provides provisions on restitution and cooperation. 3- International cooperation framework: The idea of strengthening cooperation among and between States Parties is present throughout the Convention. In cases where cultural patrimony is in jeopardy from pillage, Article 9 provides a possibility for more specific undertakings such as a call for import and export controls.

UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) Convention on Cultural Diversity is an international convention adopted by UNESCO in 2005. It entered into force on March 18, 2007.
The Convention has several objectives set out in Article 1, namely (a) to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions; (b) to create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner; (c) to encourage dialogue among cultures with a view to ensuring wider and balanced cultural exchanges in the world in favor of intercultural respect and a culture of peace; (d) to foster interculturality in order to develop cultural interaction in the spirit of building bridges among peoples; (e) to promote respect for the diversity of cultural expressions and raise awareness of its value at the local, national and international levels; (f) to reaffirm the importance of the link between culture and development for all countries, particularly for developing countries, and to support actions undertaken nationally and internationally to secure recognition of the true value of this link; (g) to give recognition to the distinctive nature of cultural activities, goods and services as vehicles of identity, values and meaning; (h) to reaffirm the sovereign rights of States to maintain, adopt and implement policies and measures that they deem appropriate for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions on their territory; [and] (i) to strengthen international cooperation and solidarity in a spirit of partnership with a view, in particular, to enhancing the capacities of developing countries in order to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions.


The Unified Patent Court is a proposed common patent court open for participation of all member states of the European Union. It will hear cases regarding infringement and revocation proceedings of European patents valid in the territories of the participating states. A court ruling will be directly applicable throughout those territories.


Utility, Plant, and Reissue.


United States Patent and Trademark Office designation became effective April 3, 2000; a result of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.


United States Trade Representative.

Unfair Competition

“Unfair competition” is “dishonest or fraudulent rivalry in trade and commerce; esp., the practice of endeavoring to pass off one’s own goods or products in the market for those of another by means of imitating or counterfeiting the name, brand, size, shape, or other distinctive characteristic of the article or its packaging.”
Paragraph 2 of Article 10bis of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883) provides that “[a]ny act of competition contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters constitutes an act of unfair competition”. Paragraph 3 of Article 10bis further provides that “ [t]he following in particular shall be prohibited: (i) all acts of such a nature as to create confusion by any means whatever with the establishment, the goods, or the industrial or commercial activities, of a competitor; (ii) false allegations in the course of trade of such a nature as to discredit the establishment, the goods, or the industrial or commercial activities, of a competitor; (iii) indications or allegations the use of which in the course of trade is liable to mislead the public as to the nature, the manufacturing process, the characteristics, the suitability for their purpose, or the quantity, of the goods.”

Unitary Patent

Currently under development, the Unitary Patent (or EPUE) will provide patent protection at a European level in all participating jurisdictions. Unitary patents would be granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) and be subject to the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The system will provide an alternative to national patents.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. The Declaration acknowledges the equal human rights of indigenous peoples against cultural discrimination and seeks to promote mutual respect and harmonious relations between the indigenous peoples and States.
In relation to traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources, Article 31.1 states that: “[i]ndigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.” Article 31.2 further provides that “[i]n conjunction with indigenous peoples, States shall take effective measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights.” On traditional medicine, Article 24 provides that “[i]ndigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals.”

United States Work

For purposes of section 411, a work is a “United States work” only if —
(1) in the case of a published work, the work is first published —
(A) in the United States;
(B) simultaneously in the United States and another treaty party or parties, whose law grants a term of copyright protection that is the same as or longer than the term provided in the United States;
(C) simultaneously in the United States and a foreign nation that is not a treaty party; or
(D) in a foreign nation that is not a treaty party, and all of the authors of the work are nationals, domiciliaries, or habitual residents of, or in the case of an audiovisual work legal entities with headquarters in, the United States;
(2) in the case of an unpublished work, all the authors of the work are nationals, domiciliaries, or habitual residents of the United States, or, in the case of an unpublished audiovisual work, all the authors are legal entities with headquarters in the United States; or
(3) in the case of a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work incorporated in a building or structure, the building or structure is located in the United States.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

Use in Commerce

For the purpose of obtaining federal registration, "commerce" means all commerce that the U.S. Congress may lawfully regulate; for example, interstate commerce or commerce between the U.S. and another country. "Use in commerce" must be a bona fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not use simply made to reserve rights in the mark. Generally, acceptable use is as follows:.
For goods: the mark must appear on the goods, the container for the goods, or displays associated with the goods, and the goods must be sold or transported in commerce.
For services: the mark must be used or displayed in the sale or advertising of the services, and the services must be rendered in commerce. If you have already started using the mark in commerce, you may file based on that use.
A "use" based application must include a sworn statement(usually in the form of a declaration) that the mark is in use in commerce, listing the date of first use of the mark anywhere and the date of first use of the mark in commerce. A properly worded declaration is included in the USPTO standard application form. The applicant or a person authorized to sign on behalf of the applicant must sign the statement. The application should include a specimen showing use of the mark in commerce.

Use of Traditional Cultural Expressions/Traditional Knowledge

Traditional knowledge and cultural expressions can be used for different purposes. The use of traditional knowledge or cultural expressions includes commercial or industrial use, customary use, fair use, household use and public health use of traditional medicine, and research and educational use.

Use-Based Application

There are 4 filing bases on which an application may be based. One filing basis is use of the mark in commerce (the other three are filing based on an intent-to-use the mark in commerce, filing based on a pending foreign application, and filing based on a foreign registration). Applicants who file based on use in commerce must be using the mark they wish to register with the goods or services in the application prior to or at the time of filing the application.
To base the application on the applicant's use of the mark in commerce, the applicant must submit the following four items: (1) A statement that the mark is in use in commerce, as defined by 15 U.S.C. §1127, and was in use in such commerce on or in connection with the goods or services listed in the application on the application filing date; (2) The date of the applicant's first use of the mark anywhere on or in connection with the goods or services; (3) The date of the applicant's first use of the mark in commerce as a trademark or service mark; and (4) One specimen for each class showing how the applicant actually uses the mark in commerce. If the specimen is not filed with the initial application, the applicant must submit a statement that the specimen was in use in commerce at least as early as the application filing date. These items must be verified by the applicant, i.e., supported either by an affidavit or by a declaration under 37 C.F.R. SS2.20 and 2.33. Trademark Act Section 1(a), 15 U.S.C. §1051(a); 37 C.F.R. SS2.34(a)(1) and 2.59(a); TMEP S806.01(a).

Useful Article

An article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. An article that is normally a part of a useful article is considered a “useful article”.

Utility Patent

May be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new, useful, and nonobvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.

Utility Patent Application

Protect useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter.

Utility model

Used in select jurisdictions such as Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea (among others), the idea of a utility model patent is to cover an incremental improvement to a product, process or machine in those cases where such an improvement does not warrant a full patent.


The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2010) defines at Article 2(c) as follows: “to conduct research and development on the genetic and/or biochemical composition of genetic resources, including through the application of biotechnology as defined in Article 2 of the Convention.”

uberrima fides

/ˈjuːbəˌriːmə ˈfaɪdiːz/ /uːbəriːmə faɪd/

Latin for "most abundant faith". Concept in contract law specifying that all parties must act with the utmost good faith.

ubi eadem ratio, ibi idem jus

/juːbɪ æˌdɛm reɪʃɪˌəʊ, ɪˈbɪ aɪdɛm dʒʌs/
/ubi æˌdɛm reɪʃoʊ, ɪbə aidem dʒʌs/

Latin for "where there is the same reason there is the same law".

ultra vires

Latin for "beyond the powers". An act that requires legal authority to perform, but which is done without obtaining that authority.

universitas personarum

/juːnɪˈvɜːsɪtə pɜːˈsəʊnərʌm/
/junəˈvɜrsətə pərˈsoʊnərʌm/

Latin for "totality of people". Aggregate of people, body corporate, as in a college, corporation, or state

universitas rerum

/juːnɪˈvɜːsɪtə rɛərʊm/
/junəˈvɜrsətə riːrʌm/

Latin for "totality of things". Aggregate of things.

uno contextu

/juːnəʊ kənˈtɛkstjʊ/ /unoʊ kənˈtɛkstʃu/

Latin for "single joining together". Contemporaneously; when the phases of something are done without interruption or any intervening action; specifically, executed in one single execution ceremony (vs. ex intervalo temporis)

uno flatu

/juːnəʊ flætʃʊ/ /unoʊ flætoʊ/

Latin for "in one breath". Used to criticize inconsistencies in speech or testimony, as in: one says one thing, and in the same breath, says another contradictory thing.


/juːzjʊˈkeɪpɪəʊ/ /ˈjuzjʊkæpoʊ/

Latin for "seizure of use". Acquisitive prescription, i.e. the civilian version of adverse possession. Also called ‘prescription acquirendi causa’.


/ˈjuːsjʊˌfrʌktɛərɪəs/ /juzjʊˌfrʌktˈɛriəs/

Latin for "usufructuary". life tenant.


/ˈjuːsjʊˌfrʌktʌs/ /ˈjuzjʊˌfrʌktʌs/

Latin for "use-fruit". Civilian equivalent of a life estate.

uti possidetis

/ˈjuːtaɪ ˌpɒsɪˈdiːtɪs/ /ˈjuːtai ˌpɑsɪˈditɪs/

Latin for "as you possess". Ancient concept regarding conflicts, wherein all property possessed by the parties at the conclusion of the conflict shall remain owned by those parties unless treaties to the contrary are enacted.


/ʌkˈsɔːr/ /ʌkˈsɔr/

Latin for "wife". Used in documents in place of the wife's name. Usually abbreviated et ux.

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