Eye on IP
Vol. No. 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
Trademark FAQ: What Is Dilution?
As we mentioned last week, trademark owners can protect their intellectual property by bringing a trademark infringement action. This post highlights another valuable legal tool¡Xan action for trademark dilution.
Trademark dilution occurs when a third party's use of your trademark impairs the mark's distinctiveness. Unlike infringement, it does not matter whether or not the mark is used on a competing product or in a way that is likely to cause customer confusion.
Under federal law, a dilution claim can be brought only if the mark is "famous." In determining whether a mark is famous, the courts will evaluate the following factors:
- The degree of inherent or acquired distinctiveness;
- The duration and extent of use;
- The amount of advertising and publicity;
- The geographic extent of the market;
- The channels of trade;
- The degree of recognition in trading areas;
- Any use of similar marks by third parties; and
- Whether the mark is registered.
In addition, most states have laws against trademark dilution, which do not require a mark to be famous.
How We Can Help
Of course, this post provides only a broad overview of trademark dilution. If you believe your trademark is being diluted, it is advisable to consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney.
At Sheldon Mak & Anderson, we recognize that innovation is your competitive edge - and it needs protection. As a full-service intellectual property firm with more than two decades of experience, we provide local, regional, national, and international legal services in the following areas: patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, IP litigation, international patent and trademark prosecution, licensing, alternative dispute resolution, and green technology.
Contact our knowledgeable intellectual property attorneys today TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) to find out how we can provide a powerful defense of your unique ideas.