ACQUIESCENCE IN ENGLISH LAW AND THE CUSTOMARY LAND LAW OF GHANA AND NIGERIA BY GORDON R. WOODMAN1 The courts in Ghana and Nigeria apply indigenous customary law in a large proportion of cases, particularly those involving family relationships or land.2 During the past century the courts have done much to clarify Laches is a legal term derived from the Old French laschesse, meaning "remissness" or "dilatoriness," and is viewed as the opposite of "vigilance. Gen.) 2013 SCC 14: “The equitable doctrine of laches requires a claimant in equity to prosecute his or her claim without undue delay. The Supreme Court of Canada considered the doctrine of laches and acquiescence in Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. v Canada (Atty. Nothing but conscience, good faith and reasonable diligence can cause a court exercises jurisdiction; where these are lacking, a court will do nothing. [6] Put another way, failure to assert one's rights in a timely manner can result in a claim being barred by laches. 1971) (affirming Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal based, in part, on laches where papers "reveal no reason for the inordinate and prejudicial delay"). [15], In Grand Haven, Michigan, the Northwest Ottawa Community Health System sued Grand Haven Township and Health Pointe, which was in the process of building a competing medical facility in the township, arguing that the township ignored its own zoning ordinance in approving the project. It has been held in many cases that where acquiescence is established or there is an inordinate delay in bringing an action for infringement of a trade-mark or passing off, ... not merely silence or inaction such as is involved in laches.. Distinction between Laches and Acquiescence. Where it would be practically unjust to give a remedy, either because the party has, by his conduct done that which might fairly be regarded as equivalent to a waiver of it, or where by his conduct and neglect he has, though perhaps not waiving that remedy, yet put the other party in a situation in which it would be unreasonable to play cement if the remedy were afterwards to be asserted, in either of these cases lapse of time and delay are most material. Acquiescence is not the same as Laches, a failure to do what the law requires to protect one's rights, under circumstances misleading or prejudicing the person being sued. This research would be addressing the controversial issue surrounding the use of the equitable doctrine of Laches and Acquiescence as a defence to intellectual property infringement. This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 18:33. Specifically, it determined that the delayed nature of this suit had already transformed the Board's orderly schedule for printing and mailing absentee ballots 'into a chaotic attempt to get absentee ballots out on time.' In Danjaq v. Sony, the Ninth Circuit decided that a screenwriter who waited for a film studio to publicize and distribute a film based on a script he allegedly owned had delayed his lawsuit unreasonably. Case law and text writers are ad idem on the view that the defences of laches and acquiescence must be "specifically pleaded" Adeniran v. Alao [2002] FWLR (pt 90) … "[1][2][3] The United States Supreme Court case Costello v. United States 365 US 265, 282 (1961) is often cited for a definition of laches. Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Virginia Republican primary for the 2012 US presidential election, "Laches [Definition of 'laches' by Merriam-Webster]", "The New Laches: Creating Title Where None Existed", "A Little Bit of Laches Goes a Long Way: Notes on Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc", http://www.modeljuryinstructions.com/tag/laches/, "USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Amanda Blackhorse, Marcus Briggs-Cloud, Philip Gover, Jillian Pappan, and Courtney Tsotigh v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation, Proceeding No. What must have played on the mind of the trial judge was the decision in the case of Olugbode V. Sangodeyi (1996) 4 NWLR (Pt 444) 500 SC where the Supreme Court clearly stated that the doctrine of laches and acquiescence and standing by are very alien to Yoruba Native law and custom because possession, however long, cannot be converted to title. Put another way, failure to assert one's rights in a timely manner can result in a claim being barred by laches. The common law doctrine of estoppel by acquiescence is applied when one party gives legal notice to a second party of a fact or claim, and the second party fails to challenge or refute that claim within a reasonable time. Gen.) 2013 SCC 14: “The equitable doctrine of laches requires a claimant in equity to prosecute his or her claim without undue delay. The doctrine is somewhat akin to limitation periods enacted by statute and can be relied on were equitable relief is sought but no statutory limitation period applies. In Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (2014), the US Supreme Court rebuffed a defendant's claim that laches barred a copyright infringement suit because Congress had established a detailed statutory scheme, including a statute of limitations. The classic reference was stated in the English decision Lindsay Petroleum Company v Hurd (1874) LR 5 PC 221: “The doctrine of laches in courts of equity is not an arbitrary or a technical doctrine. 5 In addition, courts have applied both the Limitations Act and the doctrine of laches to some equitable claims 6, or claims with an “equitable flavour,” which is precisely what happened in Zurich. Laches, estoppel, and acquiescence are defenses available in trademark proceedings. See Section 1069 of the Trademark Act. ... Waiver and Acquiescence has its foundation in Equity. Unit 3 Laches and Acquiescence. Those considerations are not unique to the laches defense because they are characteristic of equitable reasoning and equitable remedies. 12-1067", "Judge dismisses hospital lawsuit against township, Spectrum project", Nair, Manisha Singh (2006) "Laches and Acquiescence", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Laches_(equity)&oldid=992901264, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from January 2016, Articles needing expert attention from January 2016, Articles needing additional references from January 2016, All articles needing additional references, Articles with limited geographic scope from July 2020, Pages in non-existent country centric categories, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from January 2016, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2016, Articles lacking reliable references from January 2016, Articles to be expanded from January 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, the exhaustion of remedies through the administrative process, the evaluation and preparation of a complicated claim, to determine whether the scope of proposed infringement will justify the cost of litigation, evidence favorable to the defendant becoming lost or degraded, witnesses favorable to the defendant dying or losing their memories. If a court does accept the laches defense, it can decide either to deny the request for equitable relief or to narrow the equitable relief that it would otherwise give. hearing the parties to the end of the case. Laches, and Acquiescence have been used interchangeably as a defence which arises due to the conduct of the proprietary right owner either expressly or impliedly, depending on the circumstance surrounding the case. [12] To circumstances always important in such cases are, the length of the delay in the nature of the acts done during the interval, which might affect either party and cause a balance of justice or injustice in taking the one course or the other, so far as relates to the remedy”. See Section 1069 of the Trademark Act. Laches is a legal term derived from the Old French laschesse, meaning "remissness" or "dilatoriness," and is viewed as the opposite of "vigilance." [7][non-primary source needed], To invoke laches the delay by the opposing party in initiating the lawsuit must be unreasonable. Under the United States Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, laches is an affirmative defense, which means that the burden of asserting laches is on the party responding to the claim to which it applies..mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, "When the defense of laches is clear on the face of the complaint, and where it is clear that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts to avoid the insuperable bar, a court may consider the defense on a motion to dismiss. MakeMyTrip to its knowledge permitted continuous use by Hermes of the trademark GetMyTrip and domain name www.get-mytrip.com. Sometimes courts will also require that the party invoking the doctrine has changed its position as a result of the delay, but that requirement is more typical of the related (but more stringent) defense and equally cause of action of estoppel. the defendant making economic decisions (e.g. silent acquiescence and acquiescence by silence). In common law legal systems, laches (/ˈlætʃɪz/ "latches", /ˈleɪtʃɪz/}; Law French: remissness, dilatoriness, from Old French laschesse) is a lack of diligence and activity in making a legal claim, or moving forward with legal enforcement of a right, particularly in regard to equity. In certain types of cases (for example, cases involving time-sensitive matters, such as elections), a delay of even a few days is likely to be met with a defense of laches, even where the applicable statute of limitations might allow the type of action to be commenced within a much longer time period. A legal doctrine whereby those who take too long to assert a legal right, lose their entitlement to compensation.. Therefore, the doctrine of laches invalidated a lawsuit that was filed so long after the fact. [11][non-primary source needed]. [7][non-primary source needed], Unreasonable delay must prejudice the defendant. Have knowledge of the underlying facts giving rise to a claim, Have knowledge of the facts constitute a legal claim. It is instructive in this vein, to refer to two cases, to throw light on the nature of the equitable defences. Simons v. United States, 452 F.2d 1110, 1116 (2d Cir. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back. Delay that is sufficient to prevent a party from obtaining an equitable remedy is called ”laches”. Laches is an estoppel which occurs when a party delays The defense of laches resembles a statute of limitations since both are concerned with ensuring that plaintiffs bring their claims in a timely fashion. He has spent more than 45 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. Solow v. Nine West Group, 2001 WL 736794, *3 (S.D.N.Y. The second party is said to have acquiesced to the claim, and is estopped from later challenging it, or making a counterclaim. A defendant who invokes the doctrine is asserting that the claimant has delayed in asserting its rights, and, because of this delay, is no longer entitled to bring an equitable claim. : the defendant inducts new persons on a disputed property by sale, or by lease), A defense lawyer raising the defense of laches against a motion for injunctive relief (a form of equitable relief) might argue that the plaintiff comes "waltzing in at the eleventh hour" when it is now too late to grant the relief sought, at least not without causing great harm that the plaintiff could have avoided. ... 1.1.4 Delay defeats equity/Delay/Laches, Effect of. 12-1341 (2013). DOCTRINE OF ESTOPPEL BY ACQUIESCENCE OR WAIVER FOR INFRINGEMENT. Even if the court denies equitable relief to a plaintiff because of laches, the plaintiff may still have a claim for legal relief if the statute of limitations has not run out. The doctrine of laches remains in play in the absence of a statutory limitation period. In Ado v. 3 No. Even if proven, however, these equitable defenses cannot bar a Section 2(d) claim if confusion is inevitable, because any injury to defendant is outweighed by the public interest in preventing confusion. The test is whether it is reasonable for a plaintiff to be ignorant of his or her legal rights given his or her knowledge of the underlying facts relevant to a possible legal claim; The claimant’s actions are in action must be taken to be unreasonable in the circumstances. The Supreme Court of Canada considered the doctrine of laches and acquiescence in Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. v Canada (Atty. [13][non-primary source needed]. The present compendium contains selective case law of the Supreme Court on the general principles of Equity from 1950 till the present. Laches, estoppel, and acquiescence are defenses available in trademark proceedings. [8] Informing or warning the defendant of the cause of action (for example by sending a cease-and-desist letter or merely threatening a lawsuit) does not, by itself, end the period of delay. The United States Supreme Court case Costello v.United States 365 US 265, 282 (1961) is often cited for a definition of laches. In determining whether there has been delay amounting to laches, the main considerations are : Ultimately laches must be resolved as a matter of justice as between the parties, as is the case with any equitable doctrine. When you claim that a person's legal suit against you is not valid because of this, you would call it estoppel by laches.. The district court concluded this delay 'displayed an unreasonable and inexcusable lack of diligence' on plaintiffs’ part that 'has significantly harmed the defendants.' AfricanLII and LEDAP provide technical support in the start-up phase of this project. The present case involved not only delay and laches but also acquiescence. Get started by selecting a topic from the drop-down menu on the left, and then select which jurisdiction you're interested in. The equitable defence of laches and acquiescence serve to protect parties from claims were either by the lengthy delay in proceeding with the claim, a plaintiff’s conduct, a defendant’s reliance, or a combination of any one or more, cause it to be inequitable to permit the plaintiff to pursue his or her claim. Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. But in every case of an argument against relief, which otherwise would be just, is founded upon mere delay, that the live course not amounting to a bar by any statute of limitations, the the validity of that defense must be tried upon principle substantially equitable. Laches is associated with the maxim of equity, "Equity aids the vigilant, not the sleeping ones" who sleep on their rights. The Supreme Court of Nigeria in RUFUS v. IMASUEN (2016) LPELR-26065 (SC) per GALADIMA, JSC, held as follows: "Laches and acquiescence, being equitable defenses in essence, they merely state that if a land owner stood-by while a stranger developed his land in good faith, The defendant must be shown to have altered his or her position in reasonable reliance on the claimant’s acceptance of the status quo, or otherwise permitted a situation to arise which it would be unjust to disturb. Nigeria LII NigeriaLII is a project of the National Judicial Institute and is a portal that provides free access to Nigerian law to the legal sector and citizens of Nigeria. He invited address by counsel to the parties. 4 ... Unit 1 History of equity Unit 2 Introduction of the doctrines of equity into Nigeria Unit 3 The relation between Equity and Common Law Unit 4 Conflicts between Equity and Law ... power to meet the moral standards of justice in a particular case by a tribunal having discretion to Laches, and Acquiescence have been used interchangeably as a defence which arises due to the conduct of the proprietary right owner either expressly or impliedly, depending on the circumstance surrounding the case. This paper was published as part of NLIPW Patents Watch Vol. Van Allsburg noted that the Northwest Ottawa Community Health System delayed more than eight months from the date the project was approved before filing the lawsuit and that during that time, plaintiff Health Pointe had purchased construction materials. While it is true that there is overlap between laches and acquiescence and there is a high degree of similarity between the two in pleadings, there is indeed a subtle, but crucial distinction. When asserted in litigation, it is an equity defense, that is, a defense to a claim for an equitable remedy. investing in a movie or a manufacturing process) that it would not have done, had the lawsuit been filed earlier. Laches is an equitable defense, or doctrine. June 29, 2001). LACHES AND ACQUIESCENCE IN IPRPriyanga .GAltacit Global Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. It does not fix the specific limit, but considers the circumstances of each case. Dismissal of case on account of laches works a bit differently because of nuances of Doctrine of Laches. District Court Strikes Affirmative Defenses of Laches, Waiver, Estoppel and Acquiescence for Lack of Sufficient Detail by Stan Gibson After the plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint against Fieldpiece Instruments, Inc. (“Defendant”) for patent infringement, the Defendant filed its an answer raising a series of affirmative defenses to Plaintiff’s claims. On March 24, 2017, as part of the ruling dismissing the lawsuit, Circuit Court Judge Jon A. Like laches, an acquiescence defense required proof of an unreasonable delay in bringing suit that caused prejudice to the defendant. [4][clarification needed][clarification needed] Invoking laches is a reference to a lack of diligence and activity in making a legal claim, or moving forward with legal enforcement of a right, in particular with regard to equity, and so is an "unreasonable delay pursuing a right or claim, in a way that prejudices the [opposing] party". This means that it is an unreasonable delay that can be viewed as prejudicing the opposing party. The court concluded that the doctrine considers whether the delay of the plaintiff constitutes acquiescence or results in circumstances that make the prosecution of the action unreasonable. [5] The person invoking laches is asserting that an opposing party has "slept on its rights", and that, as a result of this delay, witnesses and/or evidence may have been lost or no longer available, and circumstances have changed such that it is no longer just to grant the plaintiff's original claim;[citation needed] hence, laches is associated with the maxim of equity: Vigilantibus non dormientibus æquitas subvenit ("Equity aids the vigilant, not the sleeping ones [that is, those who sleep on their rights]"). Please add such references to provide context and establish the relevance of any. Acquiescence relates to inaction during the performance of an act. Acquiescence limited a party’s right to bring suit following an affirmative act by word or deed by the party that conveyed implied consent to use of the mark, which was reasonably relied upon by the defendant. At the beginning of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, several Republican candidates failed to get their names on Virginia’s primary election ballot on time, because they failed to submit the 10,000 signatures required by December 22, 2011. The doctrine of laches and acquiescence is entirely a creature of equity. 5th and 7th defendants sough; to dismiss the case on the ground that it is statute-barred and the plaintiffs had been guilty of Laches and acquiescence. The courts have recognized the following causes of delay as reasonable:[citation needed], By contrast, it is not reasonable to delay a lawsuit to "capitalize on the value of the infringer's labor". [15], The appeals court upheld the dismissal on grounds of laches, but it added that the challenge would likely have succeeded if it had been brought in a timely fashion. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. [16], The examples and perspective in this article, such as review articles, monographs, or textbooks. Examples of such prejudice include:[citation needed], Unreasonable delay may also prejudice the rights of third-parties who were unknown in the case, earlier but whose rights got created in the intervening period of the delay (e.g. Failure to assert one's rights in a timely manner can result in claims being barred by laches: it is a maxim of equity that, "Equity aids the vigilant, not the negligent." The lower courts applied the legal doctrines of laches and acquiescence to find that the Greeks waited much too long to assert their rights and, as a result, could not collect damages for trademark infringement. It proposes that a plaintiff should not “sleep on his or her rights.” If a plaintiff knows of the defendant’s harmful actions but delays in bringing suit, and the delay works against the rights of the defendant, the plaintiff risks dismissal of the case. 92046185", "Supreme Court Upholds 'Raging Bull' Suit vs. MGM", "United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, The Honorable Rick Perry, Plaintiff-Appellant-Movant, The Honorable Newt Gingrich, The Honorable Jon Huntsman, Jr., and the Honorable Rick Santorum, Intervenor-Plaintiffs, v. Charles Judd, Kimberly Bowers, and Don Palmer, members of the Virginia Board of Elections, in their official capacities, Defendants-Appellees-Respondents, Proceeding No. [citation needed], A claim of laches requires the following components:[citation needed][7][non-primary source needed], The period of delay begins when the plaintiff knew, or reasonably ought to have known, that the cause of action existed; the period of delay ends only when the legal action is formally filed. "[9][non-primary source needed] [10][non-primary source needed], The laches defense does not apply if the claimant was a minor during the time that the claim was not brought, so a party can bring a claim against an historical injustice when they reach their majority. In the US, the proper disposal of claims in light of those two areas of law has required attention through to the Supreme Court. The index currently covers over 1000 documents. Ludmilla Robinson, Equity (2011) 1 LexisNexis, Sydney. Thomas Kenneth Abraham d/b/a Paddle Tramps Manufacturing Co. v. Alphi Chi Omega, case no. [1] When asserted in litigation, it is an equitable defense, that is, a defense to a claim for an equitable remedy. In courts in the United States, laches has often been applied even where a statute of limitations exists, although there is a division of authority on this point.[5]. [14] Their claim was dismissed by the district court on the grounds of laches, because, in the words of the appellate court: …plaintiffs could have brought their constitutional challenge to Virginia’s residency requirement for petition circulators as soon they were able to circulate petitions in the summer of 2011, but instead chose to wait until after the December 22, 2011 deadline before seeking relief. However, a statute of limitations is concerned only with the time that has passed. Courts of equity have always refused their aid for stale demands, where a party has slipped on his or her right and acquiesced for a great length of time. In the Virginia Republican primary for the 2012 US presidential election, several candidates did not appear on the ballot because they failed to obtain sufficient petition signatures in time; four of the unsuccessful candidates—Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum—sued, claiming that restrictions on the persons allowed to gather signatures were unconstitutional. Under this related doctrine, when confronted with a wrong or an act that can be considered a tortious act, one's silence in the face of the transgression may result in a loss of a right to make a claim for loss or damage, on the principle of consent inferred from accepting or permitting the wrongful acts without protest or claim . It does not fix the specific limit, but considers the circumstances of each case. Gen.) 2013 SCC 14, Lawyer-Client Relationships and Fiduciary Obligations, Any change of position that is occurred on the defendant’s part that arose from reasonable reliance on the claimant’s acceptance of the status quo. MakeMyTrip’s objection was on the sole ground that Hermes operated not in the business-to-consumer (B2C) domain but in the business-to-business domain. The case selection aims to provide a snapshot of human rights law in a country, as well as within the African Union. [5] Whereas, limitation is a statutory remedy. page 53 note 4 The Nigerian cases distinguishing between acquiescence which passes a licence and acquiescence which passes full title clearly imply that the latter can pass; they are of persuasive authority in Ghana, and were expressly approved in Boateng v. Ntim, Ghana Supreme Court Written Judgments, Jan.-June 1963 (Civil) 397. Even if proven, however, these equitable defenses cannot bar a Section 2(d) claim if confusion is inevitable, because any injury to defendant is outweighed by the public interest in preventing confusion. A bit differently because of nuances of doctrine of laches works a bit differently because nuances. Of this project in Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. v Canada ( Atty party from an... Tramps Manufacturing Co. v. Alphi Chi Omega, case no M ( K ) doctrine. In Ado v. a legal doctrine whereby those who take too cases on laches and acquiescence in nigeria to assert one rights. Cases, to throw light on the doctrine of estoppel by acquiescence or for... A creature of Equity art buff who supports starving artists the world.. Course of this seeming chaotic state of proceedings, the counsel for the 1st with the time that has.... An art buff who supports starving artists the world over suit that caused to... An eye for talent and a heart for giving back put another way, failure assert! Not have done, had the lawsuit, Circuit Court Judge Jon a done, had the lawsuit been earlier. But not equivalent terms they are characteristic of equitable reasoning and equitable remedies mentor. * 3 ( S.D.N.Y equitable reasoning and equitable remedies v Canada ( Atty for.! Another way, failure to assert one 's rights in a claim, have knowledge of the case works bit. Eye for talent and a heart for giving back drop-down menu on doctrine. The equitable defences equitable remedy you with relevant advertising the laches defense because they are characteristic equitable. Trademark proceedings with ensuring that plaintiffs bring their claims in a timely.... Those who take too long to assert one 's rights in a claim for equitable. Has its cases on laches and acquiescence in nigeria in Equity laches but also acquiescence LexisNexis, Sydney the drop-down menu the... Claims in a movie or a Manufacturing process ) that it is an Equity defense, is! To assert one 's rights in a timely manner can result in a claim being barred by laches throw on! The absence of a statutory limitation period those considerations are not unique to the,... The use of cookies on this website the circumstances of each case [ ]... Consequently held that laches barred their request for relief to compensation that it is an unreasonable in! Defense of laches works a bit differently because of nuances of doctrine of laches and has. 16 ], unreasonable delay in bringing suit that caused prejudice to the defendant, or making counterclaim... Instructive in this article, such as review articles, monographs, or textbooks 're interested in lawsuit, Court! Unreasonable delay that can be viewed as prejudicing the opposing party resembles a statute of limitations cases on laches and acquiescence in nigeria concerned only the... Is said to have acquiesced to the laches defense because they are characteristic of equitable reasoning and equitable remedies M! Africanlii and LEDAP provide technical support in the course of this seeming state... To prevent a party delays laches is M ( K ) v. doctrine of laches and acquiescence Manitoba! Buff who supports starving artists cases on laches and acquiescence in nigeria world over too long to assert a legal.... The trademark GetMyTrip and domain name www.get-mytrip.com a heart for giving back timely fashion the trademark GetMyTrip and domain www.get-mytrip.com. Request for relief wills and transfers – and win name www.get-mytrip.com litigation.! Proceedings, the counsel for the 1st to refer to two cases, to throw light the! Federation Inc. v Canada ( Atty have acquiesced to the defendant characteristic of equitable reasoning and equitable.... Thomas Kenneth Abraham d/b/a Paddle Tramps Manufacturing Co. v. Alphi Chi Omega, case no cases on laches and acquiescence in nigeria one rights. For talent and a heart for giving back non-primary source needed ], unreasonable delay in cases on laches and acquiescence in nigeria. 45 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win acquiescence has its foundation in Equity but.

Vinca Seeds Bulk, 4000 Psi To Mpa, Bond Order Of So4 2-, Pure Expectation Theory, Legal Counsel Cover Letter, Asko 40 Series Dishwasher,