Disclaimer - Encyclopedia

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DISCLAIMER, a renunciation, denial or refusal; a disavowal of claims. In law the term is used more particularly in the following senses: - (i) In the law of landlord and tenant, the direct repudiation of that relation by some act on the part of the tenant. A disclaimer may be verbal or written, but in such case it must be something more than a mere renunciation of the tenant's title, or it may be an act which is wholly inconsistent with the existence of such relation, as the setting up by the tenant of a distinct title either in himself or some third party. (2) In the law of bankruptcy, where any part of the property of a bankrupt consists of land of any tenure burdened with onerous covenants, of stocks or shares in companies, of unprofitable contracts, or of any property that is unsaleable, or not readily saleable, by reason of its binding the possessor to the performance of any onerous act, the trustee, notwithstanding that he has endeavoured to sell or has taken possession of the property, or exercised any act of ownership in relation to it, may, subject to certain provisions, by writing signed by him, at any time within twelve months after the first appointment of a trustee, "disclaim" the property (see Bankruptcy). (3) In the law of trusts, disclaimer is the refusal or renunciation of the office or duties of a trustee. It is an undisputed rule that no one is compellable to undertake a trust, so that as soon as a person knows he has been appointed a trustee under some instrument, he should determine whether he will accept the office or not. Disclaimer of trust should be by deed, as admitting of no ambiguity, but it maybe by conveyance to other accepting trustees, or orally, or by written declaration, or even by conduct. (4) In the law of patents, disclaimer is the renunciation, by amendment of specifications, of the portion of an inventor's claim to protection.

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