zone of equivalence

zone of e·quiv·a·lence

(zōn ē-kwiv'ă-lĕns)
Portion of a precipitin or agglutination curve when antibody and antigen concentrations are optimal for lattice formation.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
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The issue in these cases has been what should be the allowable zone of equivalence for patent claims that have been amended during patent prosecution.
Basically, it says that, when you amend a claim to make it narrower, you can no longer claim the territory you gave up as part of your zone of equivalence. You will, however, still have doctrine of equivalents protection for alternatives which were not claimed at the time because they were unforeseeable.