Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2383419
 


 



Abraham v. Alpha Chi Omega: Motion and Brief of Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of the Petitioner


Victoria F. Phillips


American University - Washington College of Law

Christine Haight Farley


American University - Washington College of Law

July 10, 2013

134 S.Ct. 88 (2013)

Abstract:     
The Federal Lanham Act provides that injunctive relief, the primary remedy in trademark cases, is to be granted in accordance with the principles of equity. Expressly included among such equitable principles are the defenses of acquiescence, laches, and estoppel. Naturally, these defenses have become commonplace in defending against claims of trademark infringement. In the absence of a statute of limitations courts rely on the doctrine of laches, for example, to determine when trademark infringement claims have become stale. Our informal study of the district in which this case arises shows that from 2005 to 2011, nearly two thirds of answers filed in trademark cases involved the laches defense.

The circuit courts, however, are in conflict over the proper application of these defenses. Clear guidance is needed as to how the defenses should each be distinctly applied, when these defenses ought to bar injunctive relief, and the degree to which these defenses ought to be mitigated by the potential for public confusion. Meanwhile, uncertainty regarding these defenses creates obstacles to business, burdens the consuming public and the courts, and encourages forum shopping. The negative impacts of this uncertainty within trademark will only be resolved if the Supreme Court issues an opinion as to the proper legal test for each of these equitable defenses. This case presents an ideal vehicle to address this conflict and provide clarity in this important area of trademark law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: trademark, Lanham Act, equitable defenses

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Date posted: January 24, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Phillips, Victoria F. and Farley, Christine Haight, Abraham v. Alpha Chi Omega: Motion and Brief of Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of the Petitioner (July 10, 2013). 134 S.Ct. 88 (2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2383419

Contact Information

Victoria F. Phillips (Contact Author)
American University - Washington College of Law ( email )
4801 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
United States
Christine Haight Farley
American University - Washington College of Law ( email )
4801 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
United States
202-274-4171 (Phone)
202-274-0830 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://wcl.american.edu/fac/farley
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