What is trademark dilution?
Trademark dilution is the weakening of a famous trademark or service mark that identifies and distinguishes goods or services. 15 U.S.C. 1125(c)(1). Dilution does not depend on the presence or absence of competition between the famous mark’s owner and other parties. Likewise, it does not depend on the likelihood of consumer confusion.
Dilution derives from the premise that some marks are so well recognized that they deserve an additional level of protection beyond limiting them to establishing a likelihood of consumer confusion with another mark. In this vein, dilution seeks to prevent marks that are sufficiently similar to a famous mark, regardless of the goods or services connected to the mark, causing the dilution of the famous mark.
Three common elements are typically required when proving liability for dilution: (1) the diluted mark must be famous or well-known; (2) some protection of the strength of the mark should be gained from a finding of liability for dilution; and (3) actual dilution (not a likelihood of dilution) should be occurring.
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