Role of Party Bad Faith in a Laches Defense to Trademark Infringement


This article initially focuses on one factor within the dozen or more that play into the success or failure of a laches defense to trademark infringement: defendant’s bad faith. When analyzing the role of defendant’s intent, one must consider the success or failure of the laches defense separately with respect to injunctive relief and monetary relief. Subsequently, this article shifts its focus and looks at the role of a plaintiff’s bad faith conduct in a laches defense. This kind of bad faith combines with delay and prejudice to create a modified laches defense, commonly referred to as “acquiescence.”

Generatlly, the outcome of a laches defense in a trademark infringement suit may be difficult to predict because of the number of factors that affect the final judgment. This article suggests, however, that where a defendant has infringed in bad faith, or a plaintiff has acquiesced to the use of the mark in question, the outcome of a laches defense becomes much more foreseeable.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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