Definition of Abandonment


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Abandonment -- Abandonment is when you give up all your rights or claims to property that you rightfully own. This property might include patents, leases, inventions, copyrights or trademarks. For example, if you have stocks in a brokerage account, and the brokerage firm is unable to locate you after a few years, your stocks might be considered abandoned. The property that is abandoned may revert to the state under the laws of escheat.

another definition...

Abandonment -- Abandonment is when you voluntarily give up your rights, claims or titles to something that belongs to you. For example, if a firm is unable to locate the owner of stocks, bonds or mutual funds, after several years, the property might be considered abandoned. If the property is ruled abandoned, the laws of escheat may come in to plan, and the property may be reverted to the state.

another definition...

Abandonment -- Consenting to relinquish every right, title or claim that is vested legally with the proprietor. If over a period of time the declared owner of stocks, bonds and other investments placed in an account cannot be traced, then these could be deemed to be abandoned. In such an eventuality, the state may take them over under the laws of escheat. Some other kinds of possession that are liable to abandonment are copyrights, patents, inventions and trademarks.

another definition...

Abandonment -- Abandonment in law is the relinquishment of an interest, claim, privilege or possession. This broad meaning has a number of applications in different branches of law.

In common law jurisdictions, both common law abandonment and statutory abandonment of property may be recognized. A common law abandonment may be generally defined as "the relinquishment of a right [in property] by the owner thereof without any regard to future possession by himself or any other person, and with the intention to foresake or desert the right....". Common law abandonment is "the voluntary relinquishment of a thing by its owner with the intention of terminating his ownership, and without [the intention of] vesting ownership in any other person; the giving up of a thing absolutely, without reference to any particular person or purpose....". An example of statutory abandonment in a common law jurisdiction is abandonment by a bankruptcy trustee under 11 U.S.C. 554).

Abandonment of an action, relates to a plaintiff's discontinuance of proceedings ongoing before the High Court of Justice of England and Wales and which procedure changed substantially as a result of reforms to the judiciary of the United Kingdom in 1875.

In marine insurance parlance, abandonment involves the surrender of a ship or goods to the insurer.

In the domain of copyrights, abandonment is recognized as the explicit release of material by a copyright holder into the public domain. However, statutory abandonment is a relatively unclear area of copyright law and the more common approach is to license work under a scheme that provides for public use rather than strictly abandoning copyright. For more information consult "disclaimer of interest".

In the military practice and law, abandonment of a military post by a soldier can be called desertion, and the condition of being away from that post can be called being "Away Without Leave".

In family circumstances, child abandonment is often recognized as a crime, in which case the child is usually not physically harmed directly as part of the abandonment; distinct from this is the widely recognized crime of infanticide.

Abandonment of domicile is the ceasing to reside permanently in a former domicile coupled with the intention of choosing a new domicile. The presumptions which will guide the court in deciding whether a former domicile has been abandoned or not must be inferred from the facts of each individual case. In the United States, a tenant is generally understood to have abandoned a property if he or she has fallen behind in rent and shown a lack of interest in continuing to live there. The landlord must then send notice of the intent to sell the property and wait a certain number of days to take action on it. How long the landlord has to wait depends on the value of the property; the landlord can keep the money up to the costs incurred as a result of the abandonment; the rest must be set aside for the former tenant, should she or he eventually return. Abandonment of an easement is the relinquishment of some accommodation or right in another's land, such as right of way, free access of light and air, etc.

Abandonment of railways has a legal signification in England recognized by statute, by authority of which the Board of Trade may, under certain circumstances, grant a warrant to a railway authorizing the abandonment of its line or part of it.

Abandonment of trademark is understood to happen when a trademark is not used for three or more years, or when it is deliberately discontinued; trademark law protects only trademarks being actively used and defended. An example of an abandoned trademark is aspirin, once a mark of the Bayer company, now considered a generic term.

About the author

Mark McCracken

Author: Mark McCracken is a corporate trainer and author living in Higashi Osaka, Japan. He is the author of thousands of online articles as well as the Business English textbook, "25 Business Skills in English".

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