Menendez v. Holt

128 U.S. 514 (1888)

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Menendez v. Holt

United States Supreme Court
128 U.S. 514 (1888)

Facts

Holt & Company (Holt) (plaintiff) was a dealer in flour and grain and the owner of the trademark La Favorita. Holt had used the La Favorita mark for more than 20 years to identify and distinguish certain high-quality flour that Holt had selected, prepared, and packaged. Holt’s use of the mark was continuous, and Holt had always asserted an exclusive right to it. Holt brought an action for trademark infringement against a firm operating under the name Jose Menendez & Brother (Menendez) (defendant). Menendez argued that its associate, Stephen Ryder, a former partner in Holt, was entitled to use the La Favorita mark; however, Ryder had waived all right, title, and interest to Holt’s brands upon leaving the Holt firm. The circuit court declined to award damages but enjoined Menendez from future use of the mark, and Menendez appealed. On appeal, Menendez asserted that whatever rights Holt may have had were lost by laches.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fuller, C.J.)

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