Intellectual Property

Substantial Similarity

Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison Test

The Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison test is a test used to determine if the non-literal parts of computer programs are substantially similar. It comprises three steps:

  1. Isolate the abstract elements of the works and identify which are ideas and which are expressions.
  2. Filter out the non-protectable elements from the products.
  3. Compare the remaining elements.

In determining substantial similarity, the intended audience must be considered. If something targets an expert group, it should be tested if it is substantially similar to that group, not to lay people.