A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Finds No Laches Where There Is Intentional Trademark Infringement

In a June 22, 2015 ruling, Judge Jed S. Rakoff granted the plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion on the defendants’ laches defense in a trademark action on the ground that the defendants intentionally infringed. Judge Rakoff wrote that “the defendants fail to clear the critical threshold hurdle applicable to any party asserting an equitable defense – clean hands,” noting that “a laches defense is not available to a defendant who ‘intentionally traded off the [plaintiff's] name and protected products.’” The Court concluded that even “viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to defendants, the conclusion that defendants intentionally infringed plaintiffs’ trademark and trade dress is inescapable,” and granted plaintiffs’ summary judgment on the defense.
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