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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.


noun accedence, acceptance, accession, accordance, acknowledgment, agreement, allowance, assent, compliance, concession, concordance, consent, grant, implied consent, nonresistance, observance, passive agreement, passive consent, permission, permittance, sanction, subjection, submission, submissiveness, submittal, sufferance, tacit assent, willingness
Associated concepts: acquiescence in judgment, acquiessence to a breach of contract, acquiescence to a breach of covenant, acquiescence to boundaries, acquiescence to the terms of a contract, ratification by acquiescence
Foreign phrases: Agentes et consentientes pari poena plectentur.Acting and consenting parties are liable to the same punishment. Longa patientia trahitur ad consennum. Long suf ferance is interpreted as consent.
See also: acceptance, acknowledgment, affirmance, affirmation, agreement, amenability, approval, assent, capitulation, charter, compliance, compromise, concession, confession, confirmation, conformity, consent, deference, discipline, dispensation, exception, indorsement, indulgence, leave, permission, resignation, sanction


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.

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.)

References in periodicals archive ?
25) examines the concept of acquiescence from a commitment-trust theory perspective in relationship marketing.
Shortly after announcing its acquiescence to the Wallace case, the IRS issued Rev.
All of these moves were signed off by the board of directors of the companies, and in a few instances I hear rumors that these changes were made with the acquiescence, sometimes even with the contrivance, of the executive directors.
What bothers me is the acquiescence by the RCMP, by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, and by Foreign Affairs in the U.
And, sadly, this acquiescence is not a thing of the past.
But government universities, without whose acquiescence the commission cannot act, have little incentive to let new, private entrants loosen their stranglehold.
Soon he takes over the house against the protests of Carlos and with the passive acquiescence of the boy's dying caregiver.
It is our acquiescence that arrows the rapes and murders to continue.
After decades of passive acquiescence to outrageous judicial activism by the federal courts, Congress has recently awakened to its power, under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Where there is authority, even if it is spiritual authority, the dangers of suppressing legitimate dissent, promoting a culture of misplaced docile acquiescence among subordinates, ruling by decree rather than by consultation, defending mistaken decisions for the sake of not seeming to lose face, in short: 'of stifling the Spirit' are real (3) [1 Thessalonians 4,19].