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Trademark and Unfair Comp. Boston College Law School April 2, 2008 Dilution. Trademark Causes of Action. Infringement Registered Trademarks False Designation of Origin (Unregistered) Dilution False Advertising Cybersquatting. Issues with Dilution. Standard for protection

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Trademark and Unfair Comp.

Boston College Law School

April 2, 2008

Dilution


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Trademark Causes of Action

  • Infringement

    • Registered Trademarks

    • False Designation of Origin (Unregistered)

  • Dilution

  • False Advertising

  • Cybersquatting


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Issues with Dilution

  • Standard for protection

    • Actual dilution or likelihood of dilution?

    • Tarnishment?

  • Marks entitled to protection

    • Niche fame or nationwide fame?

    • Inherent or acquired distinctiveness?


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Federal Dilution

  • Lanham Act §43(c)

    • (1) [T]he owner of a famous mark that is distinctive, inherently or through acquired distinctiveness, shall be entitled to an injunction against another person who … commences use of a mark … in commerce that is likely to cause dilution by blurring or dilution by tarnishment of the famous mark


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Federal Dilution

  • Lanham Act §43(c)

    • (B) `dilution by blurring' is association arising from the similarity between a mark or trade name and a famous mark that impairs the distinctiveness of the famous mark. In determining whether a mark or trade name is likely to cause dilution by blurring, the court may consider all relevant factors, including the following:

      • (i) The degree of similarity between the mark or trade name and the famous mark.

      • (ii) The degree of inherent or acquired distinctiveness of the famous mark.

      • (iii) The extent to which the owner of the famous mark is engaging in substantially exclusive use of the mark.

      • (iv) The degree of recognition of the famous mark.

      • (v) Whether the user of the mark or trade name intended to create an association with the famous mark.

      • (vi) Any actual association between the mark or trade name and the famous mark.


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Federal Dilution

  • Lanham Act §43(c)

    • (C) `dilution by tarnishment' is association arising from the similarity between a mark or trade name and a famous mark that harms the reputation of the famous mark.


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Federal Dilution

  • Lanham Act §43(c)

    • (2)(A) a mark is famous if it is widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States as a designation of source of the goods or services of the mark's owner. In determining whether a mark possesses the requisite degree of recognition, the court may consider all relevant factors, including the following:

      • (i) The duration, extent, and geographic reach of advertising and publicity of the mark, …

      • (ii) The amount, volume, and geographic extent of sales of goods or services offered under the mark.

      • (iii) The extent of actual recognition of the mark.


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Federal Dilution

  • Lanham Act §43(c)

    • (3) The following shall not be actionable s dilution:

      • (A) Any fair use … of a famous mark … other than as a designation of source for the person’s own goods or services, including use in connection with –

        • (i) advertising or promotion that permits consumers to compare goods or services; or

        • (ii) identifying and parodying, criticizing, or commenting upon the famous mark owner or the goods or services of the famous mark owner.

      • (B) All forms of news reporting and news commentary.

      • (C) Any noncommercial use of the mark.


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Arthur the Aardvark

Clue (board game)

Candyland (board game)

Hotmail (website)

Children’s Place (store)

The Sporting News (mag)

WaWa (grocery)

Star Market (grocery)

Famous

Not famous

Famous

Famous

Not famous

Famous

Famous

Not famous

Famous?





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Ringling Brothers v. Celozzi

The Greatest Used Car Show on Earth





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Administrative Details

  • Next Assignment

    • Read VII.D – Cybersquatting


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