We often have clients who have products with key technical features that support the customer's purchase decision. Ideally these are present on the product detail with a short blurb.
For example, if you were selling a hiking boot, you might have a blurb like the following:
Gore-Tex lining: Breathable fabric that keeps you dry
Vibram Soles: Sticky rubber, yet firm tread for long hikes
We have experimented with having this content in-page vs. loaded via a secondary ajax request. There are noticeable improvements in having them load after the fact in terms of perceived duplicate content (as many products might share these technologies). We have unique product descriptions and overviews, but it seems strange to have to dance around having very relevant, intentionally duplicate content that improves the overall user experience.
My hope is that there is a way to "canonicalize" a fragment of information, to announce that it is duplicate, and possibly specify a page that talks more about it.
EDIT After discussing with unor, my approach most likely will come down to balancing concise content per product feature, with additional microdata with additionalProperty, highlighting the product features and linking to more in-depth content when appropriate.