What Is Trademark Dilution?
Trademark dilution is a form of trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. It occurs when a trademark is used in a way that lessens its unique qualities, even if the use does not cause consumer confusion as to the source of the goods or services. For example, if a company uses a famous trademark in an advertisement for a completely unrelated product, this may dilute the trademark.
The Lanham Act provides protection against trademark dilution, even if the diluting use does not cause consumer confusion. This protection is available for famous trademarks that have a strong association in the minds of consumers with a particular product or service. To prove dilution, the trademark owner must show that the diluting use lessens the uniqueness or distinctiveness of the famous trademark.
If the trademark owner prevails in a lawsuit for trademark dilution, they may be entitled to various remedies, such as injunctions, damages, and attorney’s fees. The trademark owner can also seek an injunction to stop the diluting use of the trademark.
It’s important to note that trademark dilution is a separate cause of action from trademark infringement. While trademark infringement requires a likelihood of consumer confusion, dilution only requires that the diluting use lessens the uniqueness or distinctiveness of the trademark. This means that a company can infringe a trademark through dilution even if its use does not cause consumer confusion.
Examples of Famous Trademark Dilution Cases
Here are a few examples of trademark dilution under the Lanham Act:
These are a few examples of the many cases in which companies have been accused of dilution under the Lanham Act.