The Free Dictionary tells me that the doctrine of equitable estoppel means that...
...a court will not grant a judgment or other legal relief to a party who has not acted fairly.
The OpenDesign Alliance uses the phrase in their latest filing with the US trademark office against Autodesk. The PDF file contains other fancy lawyer phrases in the Battle Over Who Can/Shan't Use DWG:
- ...the doctrine of unclean hands [party asking for judgment cannot have the help of the court because of unethical actions in relation to the subject of the lawsuit].
- ...barred from challenging ...by laches [bars recovery by plaintiff because of plaintiff's delay in seeking relief].
- ...allege facts sufficient to entitle Petitioner to the remedy sought.
- ...denies each and every averment [allegation of facts].
Sounds like the legal equivalent of a "Liar, liar / Pants on fire / Hanging from a telephone wire!" insult that devestated us as children.
But I do love the way that the doctrine of equitable estoppel rolls off the tongue. I wonder if lawyers practice it in front of the mirror.