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Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc.: Brief of Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of the Petitioners

130 S.Ct. 631 (2009)

27 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2014  

Victoria F. Phillips

American University - Washington College of Law

Christine Haight Farley

American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: October 16, 2009

Abstract

Disparagement claims belong in the category of trademark cancellation claims that are not subject to laches defenses because the harm to the public in the continued registration of the mark outweighs any private harm that may be caused by the delay. This exception categorically precludes application of the laches defense and does not require a balancing of the equities that occurs in ordinary cases involving a laches defense. Courts have recognized that the equitable defense is inapplicable in disputes in which there is a public harm caused by the continued legislation and enforcement of the mark.

Disparagement claims explicitly target the public harms of perpetuating offensive stereotypes. If laches defenses are barred in cancellation claims that only implicitly protect the public, then that doctrine clearly extends to cancellation claims that explicitly protect the public from harm.

Keywords: trademark, disparagement, laches

Suggested Citation

Phillips, Victoria F. and Farley, Christine Haight, Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc.: Brief of Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of the Petitioners (October 16, 2009). 130 S.Ct. 631 (2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2383412

Victoria F. Phillips (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Christine Haight Farley

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
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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