is one of those legal terms which, while noninformative standing alone,
does have the virtue of brevity. As Wikipedia notes, "the person invoking
laches [here Small] is asserting that an opposing party [here Big] has
"slept on its rights," and that, as a result of this delay, that other
party [Big] is no longer entitled to its original claim. Put another way,
failure to assert one’s rights in a timely manner can result in a claim's
being barred by laches. "
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 [Small] responding to the claim to which it applies.
In this case, Small's claim is that Big had sufficient knowledge in 2004 and 2005 to act with respect to the claimed infringement of TaxHQ and, by waiting two to three years to assert the claim, has waived it (lost the claim).
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