This research addresses the controversial issue surrounding the use of the equitable doctrine of Laches and Acquiescence as a defence to intellectual property infringement. The research is conducted by laying sufficient emphasis on the international tribunal, the United States of America and Australia.
Equity is a system compiled of doctrines and principles that serve as a mitigation to the harshness imposed by common law, as it modifies and supplements it through fair and equal principles which originated from England, these principles are applicable in all common law jurisdiction. These principles are utilized by paying close attention to facts and surrounding circumstances of different cases rather than the strict nature of common law in determining liability, they remain applicable at the judges’ discretion, except the doctrine of laches which I shall further be discussing in this article, laches is presently embedded as a part of the statutory provision in the United State of America.
This doctrine of laches and acquiescence originated from the Latin maxim “Vigilantibus non dormientibus uitas subvenit meaning Equity aids the vigilant and not the indolent”. 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.
 Ludmilla Robinson, Equity (2011) 1 LexisNexis, Sydney.
This paper was published as part of NLIPW Patents Watch Vol. 3 No. 17.
About the Author
Oluwakorede Emmanuel Adeboye is a graduate of Benson Idahosa University, Benin, where he obtained his Bachelors of Law in 2013. He attended the Nigerian Law School (Kano) where he graduated and was called to the Nigeria Bar in 2014.
He is presently undergoing his Masters of Intellectual Property Law at Queensland University of Technology, where he has been privileged to be enlightened and impacted by some of the worlds renowned Patent and Trademark Experts and continues to research and produce articles related to intellectual property law.