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Conduct recognizing the existence of a transaction and intended to permit the transaction to be carried into effect; a tacit agreement; consent inferred from silence.

For example, a new beer company is concerned that the proposed label for its beer might infringe on the trademark of its competitor. It submits the label to its competitor's general counsel, who does not object to its use. The new company files an application in the Patent and Trademark Office to register the label as its trademark and starts to use the label on the market. The competitor does not file any objection in the Patent Office. Several years later, the competitor sues the new company for infringing on its trademark and demands an accounting of the new company's profits for the years it has been using the label. A court will refuse the accounting, since by its acquiescence the competitor tacitly approved the use of the label. The competitor, however, might be entitled to an Injunction barring the new company from further use of its trademark if it is so similar to the competitor's label as to amount to an infringement.

Similarly, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may acquiesce or refuse to acquiesce to an adverse ruling by the u.s. tax court or another lower federal court. The IRS is not bound to change its policies due to an adverse ruling by a federal court with the exception of the U.S. Supreme Court. The chief counsel of the IRS may determine that the commissioner of the IRS should acquiesce to an adverse decision, however, thus adopting the ruling as the policy of the IRS. The decision whether to acquiesce to an adverse ruling is published by the Internal Revenue Service as an Action on Decision.

Acquiescence is not the same as Laches, a failure to do what the law requires to protect one's rights, under circumstances misleading or prejudicing the person being sued. Acquiescence relates to inaction during the performance of an act. In the example given above, the failure of the competitor's general counsel to object to the use of the label and to the registration of the label as a trademark in the Patent and Trademark Office is acquiescence. Failure to sue the company until after several years had elapsed from the first time the label had been used is laches.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the tacit approval of conduct that might otherwise have provided grounds for an action but which cannot be objected to if undertaken with the consent of the party affected. Consent may be express or implied, and one circumstance where consent may be implied is where the party affected, in full knowledge of his rights, takes no action.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ACQUIESCENCE, contracts. The consent which is impliedly given by one or both parties, to a proposition, a clause, a condition, a judgment, or to any act whatever.
    2. When a party is bound to elect between a paramount right and a testamentary disposition, his acquiescence in a state of things which indicates an election, when he was aware of his rights will be prima facie evidence of such election. Vide 2 Ves. Jr. 371; 12 Ves. 136 1 Ves. Jr. 335; 3 P. Wms. 315. 2 Rop. Leg. 439.
    3. The acts of acquiescence which constitute an implied election, must be decided rather by the circumstances of each case than by any general principle. 1 Swanst. R. 382, note, and the numerous cases there cited.
    4. Acquiescence in the acts of an agent, or one who has assumed that character, will be equivalent to an express authority. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1309; Kent, Com. 478; Story on Eq. Sec. 255; 4 W. C. C. R. 559; 6 Miss. R. Sec. 193; 1 John. Cas. 110; 2 John. Cas. 424 Liv. on Ag. 45; Paley on, Ag. by Lloyd, 41 Pet. R. 69, 81; 12 John. R. 300; 3 Cowen's R. 281; 3 Pick. R. 495, 505; 4 Mason's R. 296. Acquiescence differs from assent. (q.v.)

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
intercircuit nonacquiescence policies underscores agencies'
On the other hand, if the Service announces its "nonacq." (nonacquiescence) in a decision, it generally will not follow the decision in cases involving other taxpayers.
This form of intercircuit nonacquiescence, in which an agency will assent to Court A's interpretation of a particular statute in the geographic jurisdiction in which Court A sits, but will nevertheless adhere to its preexisting approach to the statute (or rule) in other jurisdictions, is a common litigating approach for federal agencies seeking to maintain a rule in the face of an adverse decision from a particular geographic court of appeals.
The IRS issued a nonacquiescence to one of these decisions, indicating that it will continue to contest this issue.
After a brief nonacquiescence in Turner I's conclusion that the must-carry rules required only intermediate scrutiny under the First Amendment,(59) the dissent undertook to demonstrate in detail that the congressional judgments underlying the must-carry rules were not supported by substantial evidence.(60) In this regard, the dissent reflects the critical lesson of the two Turner decisions: the ambiguity in Justice Kennedy's opinions regarding the significance of the formal legislative record represents, as has become clear in retrospect, the slipping of the camel's nose into Congress's tent.(61)
That type of nonacquiescence would place a President above the Court, render the judicial power a nullity, and ultimately, cast doubt upon the very foundation of democratic government, namely: the rule of law.(92) Out of respect for both Congress's lawmaking prerogatives and the judicial power to interpret the Constitution, moreover, the executive may defend a statute that it thinks unconstitutional.(93) Office of Legal Counsel opinions allow for a President, as a matter of prudence, to defend constitutionally suspect legislation.
A modern incarnation of this view in a statutory context is the nonacquiescence in lower court policymaking that was practiced by some administrative agencies during the Reagan Administration.
The IRS recently published a notice of nonacquiescence to the Tax Court decision, saying it intends to object to all tax-free spinoffs in which the stock is sold shortly after distribution.
(104.) In the early 1980's, the Social Security Administration (SSA) embarked on what became a well-known and controversial policy of "nonacquiescence": the Administration did not appeal certain circuit court opinions to the Supreme Court, but it also refused to follow them--it flouted the announced law within the circuit.
In AOD-CC-1992-013, the IRS issued its nonacquiescence in the Neece case, and stated: "It is the position of the Internal Revenue Service that Neece is wrongly decided.