Imagine you’re surfing on a beautiful day at Malibu. As you start riding a wave, a portion of the wave in front of you shoots up and throws you flying into the air, causing you to land hard on the sand below.

Now imagine you’re litigating a patent case and using the doctrine of equivalents as a primary line of attack against the alleged infringer. While trying your case, the doctrine of equivalents is removed from consideration by the court, leaving you no basis for proving infringement. Seem impossible? It isn’t, and familiarity with a recent line of cases may help you “shoot the curl,” so to speak.