Prima Facie

Literally means at first sight. The term is used to describe initial evidence that suggests that a question or issue in litigation (for example with respect to infringement of a claim element) has been answered. Thus, for example, prima facie proof of negligence can be made out by showing certain facts—but that case can be rebutted by the defendant. Usually prima facie proof of an issue by a first party shifts the burden of showing that the issue is not proven (‘the burden of proof’) to the other party. Prima facie evidence does not mean that a fact is proven unless the evidence is not adequately rebutted.

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